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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-90
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-90
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  06 May 2020

06 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Modeling the hydrology and physiology of Sphagnum moss in a northern temperate bog

Xiaoying Shi1, Daniel M. Ricciuto1, Peter E. Thornton1, Xiaofeng Xu2, Fengming Yuan1, Richard J. Norby1, Anthony P. Walker1, Jeffrey Warren1, Jiafu Mao1, Paul J. Hanson1, Lin Meng3, David Weston1, and Natalie A. Griffiths1 Xiaoying Shi et al.
  • 1Climate Change Science Institute and Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
  • 2Biology Department San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182-4614, USA
  • 3Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011

Abstract. Mosses need to be incorporated into Earth system models to better simulate peatland functional dynamics under changing environment. Sphagnum mosses are strong determinants of nutrient, carbon and water cycling in peatland ecosystems. However, most land surface models do not include Sphagnum or other mosses as represented plant functional types (PFTs), thereby limiting predictive assessment of peatland responses to environmental change. In this study, we introduce a moss PFT into the land model component (ELM) of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), by developing water content dynamics and non-vascular photosynthetic processes for moss. The model was parameterized and independently evaluated against observations from an ombrotrophic forested bog as part of the Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) project. Inclusion of a Sphagnum PFT with some Sphagnum specific processes in ELM allows it to capture the observed seasonal dynamics of Sphagnum gross primary production (GPP), albeit with an underestimate of peak GPP. The model simulated a reasonable annual net primary production (NPP) for moss but with less interannual variation than observed, and reproduced above ground biomass for tree PFTs and stem biomass for shrubs. Different species showed highly variable warming responses under both ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and elevated CO2 altered the warming response direction for the peatland ecosystem. Microtopography is critical: Sphagnum mosses on hummocks and hollows were simulated to show opposite warming responses (NPP decreasing with warming on hummocks, but increasing in hollows), and hummock Sphagnum was modeled to have strong dependence on water table height. Inclusion of this new moss PFT in global ELM simulations may provide a useful foundation for the investigation of northern peatland carbon exchange, enhancing the predictive capacity of carbon dynamics across the regional and global scales.

Xiaoying Shi et al.

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Short summary
The Sphagnum mosses are the important species of wetland ecosystem. To better represent the peatland ecosystem, we introduced the moss species to the land model component (ELM) of the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM), by developing water content dynamics and non-vascular photosynthetic processes for moss. We tested the model against field observations and used the model to make projections of site carbon cycle under warming and atmospheric CO2 concentration scenarios.
The Sphagnum mosses are the important species of wetland ecosystem. To better represent the...
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