Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Special issue:
10 Mar 2010
 | 10 Mar 2010

Simulating carbon and water cycles of larch forests in East Asia by the BIOME-BGC model with AsiaFlux data

M. Ueyama, K. Ichii, R. Hirata, K. Takagi, J. Asanuma, T. Machimura, Y. Nakai, T. Ohta, N. Saigusa, Y. Takahashi, and T. Hirano

Abstract. Larch forests are widely distributed across many cool-temperate and boreal regions, and they are expected to play an important role in global carbon and water cycles. Model parameterizations for larch forests still contain large uncertainties owing to a lack of validation. In this study, a process-based terrestrial biosphere model, BIOME-BGC, was tested for larch forests at six AsiaFlux sites and used to identify important environmental factors that affect the carbon and water cycles at both temporal and spatial scales.

The model simulation performed with the default deciduous conifer parameters produced results that had large differences from the observed net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (RE), and evapotranspiration (ET). Therefore, we adjusted several model parameters in order to reproduce the observed rates of carbon and water cycle processes. This model calibration, performed using the AsiaFlux data, substantially improved the model performance. The simulated annual GPP, RE, NEE, and ET from the calibrated model were highly consistent with observed values.

The observed and simulated GPP and RE across the six sites were positively correlated with the annual mean air temperature and annual total precipitation. On the other hand, the simulated carbon budget was partly explained by the stand disturbance history in addition to the climate. The sensitivity study indicated that spring warming enhanced the carbon sink, whereas summer warming decreased it across the larch forests. The summer radiation was the most important factor that controlled the carbon fluxes in the temperate site, but the VPD and water conditions were the limiting factors in the boreal sites. One model parameter, the allocation ratio of carbon between belowground and aboveground, was site-specific, and it was negatively correlated with the annual climate of annual mean air temperature and total precipitation. Although this study substantially improved the model performance, the uncertainties that remained in terms of the sensitivity to water conditions should be examined in ongoing and long-term observations.

Special issue
Final-revised paper