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The role of carbon flux and biometric observations in constraining a terrestrial ecosystem model: a case study in disturbed forests in East Asia

Kondo, Masayuki, Ichii, Kazuhito, Ueyama, Masahito, Mizoguchi, Yasuko, Hirata, Ryuichi, Saigusa, Nobuko
Ecological research 2013 v.28 no.5 pp. 893-905
biogeochemical cycles, carbon, case studies, ecosystems, forests, models, East Asia
The process of confining unnecessary freedom is a step toward advanced ecosystem modeling. This study demonstrates the importance of carbon flux and biometric observation in constraining a terrestrial ecosystem model with a simple optimization scheme. At the selected sites from AsiaFlux network, a simultaneous optimization scheme for both carbon flux and biomass was compared with carbon flux-oriented and biomass-oriented optimization schemes using the Biome-BGC model. The optimization scheme oriented to either carbon flux or biomass provided simulation results that were consistent with observations, but with reduced performance in unconstrained variables. The simultaneous optimization scheme yielded results that were consistent with observations for both carbon flux and biomass. By comparing long-term projections simulated by three schemes, it was found that the optimization oriented only to carbon flux has limited performance because misrepresented biomass significantly affected a projection of carbon exchange through heterotrophic respiration. From these experiments, we found that (1) a process model like Biome-BGC is capable of reproducing both carbon flux and biomass within acceptable proximity, (2) constraining biomass is importance not just because it is one of carbon cycle components, but also it significantly affects simulations of carbon flux. Thus, it is important to invest more effort to improve simulation of biomass as well as carbon flux.