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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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The width and the chemical signals of tree rings have the potential to test and improve the physiological responses simulated by global land surface models, which are at the core of future climate projections. Here, we demonstrate the novel use of tree-ring width and carbon and oxygen stable isotopes to evaluate the representation of tree growth and physiology in a global land surface model at temporal scales beyond experimentation and direct observation.
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-446
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-446

  10 Dec 2020

10 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

A triple tree-ring constraint for tree growth and physiology in a global land surface model

Jonathan Barichivich1,2, Philippe Peylin1, Thomas Launois1, Valerie Daux1, Camille Risi3, Jina Jeong4, and Sebastiaan Luyssaert4 Jonathan Barichivich et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), Gif sur Yvette, France
  • 2Instituto de Conservación Biodiversidad y Territorio, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
  • 3Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD), Paris, France
  • 4Department of Ecological Sciences, VU University, 1081HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract. Annually-resolved tree-ring records extending back to pre-industrial conditions have the potential to constrain the responses of global land surface models at interannual to centennial time scales. Here, we demonstrate a framework to constrain the representation of tree growth and physiology in the ORCHIDEE global land surface model using the simulated variability of tree-ring width and carbon (Δ13C) and oxygen (δ18O) stable isotopes in six sites in boreal and temperate Europe. We exploit the tree-ring triplet to derive integrative constraints for leaf physiology and growth from well-known mechanistic relationships among the variables. The model simulates Δ13C (r = 0.31–0.80) and δ18O (r = 0.36–0.74) better than tree-ring width (r < 0.55), with an overall skill similar to that of other models. The results show that growth variability is not well represented, and that the parameterization of leaf-level physiological responses to drought stress in the temperate region can be improved with tree-ring data. The representation of carbon storage and remobilization dynamics is critical to improve the realism of simulated growth variability, temporal carrying over and recovery of forest ecosystems after climate extremes. The simulated physiological response to rising CO2 over the 20th century is consistent with tree-ring data in the temperate region, despite an overestimation of seasonal drought stress and stomatal control on photosynthesis. Photosynthesis correlates directly with isotopic variability, but the origin of correlations with δ18O is not entirely physiological. The integration of tree-ring data and land surface models as demonstrated here should contribute towards reducing current uncertainties in forest carbon and water cycling.

Jonathan Barichivich et al.

 
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Jonathan Barichivich et al.

Jonathan Barichivich et al.

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Short summary
The width and the chemical signals of tree rings have the potential to test and improve the physiological responses simulated by global land surface models, which are at the core of future climate projections. Here, we demonstrate the novel use of tree-ring width and carbon and oxygen stable isotopes to evaluate the representation of tree growth and physiology in a global land surface model at temporal scales beyond experimentation and direct observation.
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