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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-321
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-321
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Sep 2020

09 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Multi-scale assessment of a grassland productivity model

Shawn D. Taylor and Dawn M. Browning Shawn D. Taylor and Dawn M. Browning
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States

Abstract. Grasslands provide many important ecosystem services globally and forecasting grassland productivity in the coming decades will provide valuable information to land managers. Productivity models can be well-calibrated at local scales, but generally have some maximum spatial extent in which they perform well. Here we evaluate a grassland productivity model to find the optimal spatial extent for parameterization, and thus for subsequently applying it in future forecasts for North America. We also evaluated the model on new vegetation types to ascertain its potential generality. We find the model most suitable when incorporating only grasslands, as opposed to also including agriculture and shrublands, and only in the Great Plains and Eastern Temperate Forest ecoregions of North America. The model was not well suited to grasslands in North American Deserts or Northwest Forest ecoregions. It also performed poorly in agriculture vegetation, likely due to management activities, and shrubland vegetation, likely because the model lacks representation of deep water pools. This work allows us to perform long-term forecasts in areas where model performance has been verified, with gaps filled in by future modelling efforts.

Shawn D. Taylor and Dawn M. Browning

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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment

Shawn D. Taylor and Dawn M. Browning

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Code and data for: Multi-scale assessment of a grassland productivity model Shawn D. Taylor https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3897319

Shawn D. Taylor and Dawn M. Browning

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Latest update: 23 Nov 2020
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Short summary
Grasslands in North America provide multiple ecosystem services and drive production for the majority of grain, beef, and other staples. We evaluated a grassland productivity model using nearly 500 years of grassland camera data and found the areas where the model worked well, and locations where it did not. Long-term grassland forecasts for the suitable locations can be made immediately with the current model, while other areas, such as the Southwest, will need further model development.
Grasslands in North America provide multiple ecosystem services and drive production for the...
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