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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Shrub and sedge plant functional types (PFTs) were incorporated in the land surface component of the Canadian Earth System Model to improve representation of Arctic tundra ecosystems. Evaluated against 14 years of non-winter measurements, the magnitude and seasonality of carbon dioxide and energy fluxes at a Canadian dwarf-shrub tundra site were better captured by the shrub PFTs than by previously used grass and tree PFTs. Model simulations showed the tundra site to be an annual net CO2 source.
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-458
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-458

  29 Dec 2020

29 Dec 2020

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

Simulating shrubs and their energy and carbon dioxide fluxes in Canada's Low Arctic with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC)

Gesa Meyer1,2, Elyn R. Humphreys2, Joe R. Melton1, Alex J. Cannon1, and Peter M. Lafleur3 Gesa Meyer et al.
  • 1Environment and Climate Change Canada, Climate Research Division, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 2Carleton University, Geography and Environmental Studies, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 3Trent University, School of Environment, Peterborough, ON, Canada

Abstract. The Arctic is warming more rapidly than other regions of the world leading to ecosystem change including shifts in vegetation communities, permafrost degradation and alteration of tundra surface-atmosphere energy and carbon (C) fluxes, among others. However, year-round C and energy flux measurements at high-latitude sites remain rare. This poses a challenge for evaluating the impacts of climate change on Arctic tundra ecosystems and for developing and evaluating process-based models, which may be used to predict regional and global energy and C feedbacks to the climate system. Our study used 14 years of seasonal eddy covariance (EC) measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), water and energy fluxes and winter soil chamber CO2 flux measurements at a dwarf-shrub tundra site underlain by continuous permafrost in Canada's Southern Arctic ecozone to evaluate the incorporation of shrub plant functional types (PFTs) in the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC), the land surface component of the Canadian Earth System Model. In addition to new PFTs, a modification of the efficiency with which water evaporates from the ground surface was applied. This modification addressed a high ground evaporation bias that reduced model performance when soils became very dry, limited heat flow into the ground and reduced plant productivity through water stress effects. Compared to the grass and tree PFTs previously used by CLASSIC to represent the vegetation in Arctic permafrost-affected regions, simulations with the new shrub PFTs better capture the physical and biogeochemical impact of shrubs on the magnitude and seasonality of energy and CO2 fluxes at the dwarf-shrub tundra evaluation site. The revised model, however, tends to overestimate gross primary productivity, particularly in spring, and overestimated late winter CO2 emissions. On average, annual net ecosystem CO2 exchange was positive for all simulations, suggesting this site was a net CO2 source of 18 ± 4 g C m−2 year−1 using shrub PFTs, 15 ± 6 g C m−2 year−1 using grass PFTs, and 25 ± 5 g C m−2 year−1 using tree PFTs. These results highlight the importance of using appropriate PFTs in process-based models to simulate current and future Arctic surface-atmosphere interactions.

Gesa Meyer et al.

 
Status: open (until 09 Feb 2021)
Status: open (until 09 Feb 2021)
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Gesa Meyer et al.

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Simulating shrubs and their energy and carbon dioxide fluxes in Canada's Low Arctic with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC) Meyer, Gesa, Humphreys, Elyn R., Melton, Joe R., Cannon, Alex J., and Lafleur, Peter M. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4301133

Model code and software

Simulating high-latitude shrubs with the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including biogeochemical Cycles (CLASSIC) Meyer, Gesa, Humphreys, Elyn R., Melton, Joe R., Cannon, Alex J., and Lafleur, Peter M. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4301108

Gesa Meyer et al.

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Short summary
Shrub and sedge plant functional types (PFTs) were incorporated in the land surface component of the Canadian Earth System Model to improve representation of Arctic tundra ecosystems. Evaluated against 14 years of non-winter measurements, the magnitude and seasonality of carbon dioxide and energy fluxes at a Canadian dwarf-shrub tundra site were better captured by the shrub PFTs than by previously used grass and tree PFTs. Model simulations showed the tundra site to be an annual net CO2 source.
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