3 years ago

Reducing the uncertainty of parameters controlling seasonal carbon and water fluxes in Chinese forests and its implication for simulated climate sensitivities

Natasha MacBean, Guangsheng Zhou, Hui Yang, Tao Wang, Philippe Ciais, Yiping Zhang, Shilong Piao, Cédric Bacour, Yue Li
Reducing parameter uncertainty of process-based terrestrial ecosystem models (TEMs) is one of the primary targets for accurately estimating carbon budgets and predicting ecosystem responses to climate change. However, parameters in TEMs are rarely constrained by observations from Chinese forest ecosystems, which are important carbon sink over the northern hemispheric land. In this study, eddy covariance data from six forest sites in China are used to optimize parameters of the ORganizing Carbon and Hydrology In Dynamics EcosystEms TEM. The model-data assimilation through parameter optimization largely reduces the prior model errors and improves the simulated seasonal cycle and summer diurnal cycle of net ecosystem exchange, latent heat fluxes, and gross primary production and ecosystem respiration. Climate change experiments based on the optimized model are deployed to indicate that forest net primary production (NPP) is suppressed in response to warming in the southern China but stimulated in the northeastern China. Altered precipitation has an asymmetric impact on forest NPP at sites in water-limited regions, with the optimization-induced reduction in response of NPP to precipitation decline being as large as 61% at a deciduous broadleaf forest site. We find that seasonal optimization alters forest carbon cycle responses to environmental change, with the parameter optimization consistently reducing the simulated positive response of heterotrophic respiration to warming. Evaluations from independent observations suggest that improving model structure still matters most for long-term carbon stock and its changes, in particular, nutrient- and age-related changes of photosynthetic rates, carbon allocation, and tree mortality.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GB005714

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