Terrestrial cycling of 13CO2 by photosynthesis, respiration, and biomass burning in SiBCASA
Abstract. We present an enhanced version of the SiBCASA terrestrial biosphere model that is extended with (a) biomass burning emissions from the SiBCASA carbon pools using remotely sensed burned area from the Global Fire Emissions Database (GFED), (b) an isotopic discrimination scheme that calculates 13C signatures of photosynthesis and autotrophic respiration, and (c) a separate set of 13C pools to carry isotope ratios into heterotrophic respiration. We quantify in this study the terrestrial exchange of CO2 and 13CO2 as a function of environmental changes in humidity and biomass burning.
The implementation of biomass burning yields similar fluxes as CASA-GFED both in magnitude and spatial patterns. The implementation of isotope exchange gives a global mean discrimination value of 15.2‰, ranges between 4 and 20‰ depending on the photosynthetic pathway in the plant, and compares favorably (annually and seasonally) with other published values. Similarly, the isotopic disequilibrium is similar to other studies that include a small effect of biomass burning as it shortens the turnover of carbon. In comparison to measurements, a newly modified starch/sugar storage pool propagates the isotopic discrimination anomalies to respiration much better. In addition, the amplitude of the drought response by SiBCASA is lower than suggested by the measured isotope ratios. We show that a slight increase in the stomatal closure for large vapor pressure deficit would amplify the respired isotope ratio variability. Our study highlights the importance of isotope ratio observations of 13C to assess and improve biochemical models like SiBCASA, especially with regard to the allocation and turnover of carbon and the responses to drought.