Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Assessing uncertainties in a second-generation dynamic\ud vegetation model caused by ecological scale limitations

By Rosie Fisher, Nate McDowell, Drew Purves, Paul Moorcroft, Stephen Sitch, Peter Cox, Chris Huntingford, Patrick Meir and F. Ian Woodward


Summary\ud • Second-generation Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) have recently\ud been developed that explicitly represent the ecological dynamics of disturbance,\ud vertical competition for light, and succession. Here, we introduce a modified\ud second-generation DGVM and examine how the representation of demographic\ud processes operating at two-dimensional spatial scales not represented by these\ud models can influence predicted community structure, and responses of ecosystems\ud to climate change.\ud • The key demographic processes we investigated were seed advection, seed mixing,\ud sapling survival, competitive exclusion and plant mortality. We varied these\ud parameters in the context of a simulated Amazon rainforest ecosystem containing\ud seven plant functional types (PFTs) that varied along a trade-off surface between\ud growth and the risk of starvation induced mortality.\ud • Varying the five unconstrained parameters generated community structures\ud ranging from monocultures to equal co-dominance of the seven PFTs. When\ud exposed to a climate change scenario, the competing impacts of CO2 fertilization\ud and increasing plant mortality caused ecosystem biomass to diverge substantially\ud between simulations, with mid-21st century biomass predictions ranging from 1.5\ud to 27.0 kg C m)2.\ud • Filtering the results using contemporary observation ranges of biomass, leaf area\ud index (LAI), gross primary productivity (GPP) and net primary productivity (NPP)\ud did not substantially constrain the potential outcomes. We conclude that demographic\ud processes represent a large source of uncertainty in DGVM predictions

Topics: Botany, Meteorology and Climatology, Ecology and Environment, Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Sciences
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03340.x
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2003). 187: 666–681 dynamics, plant geography and terrestrial carbon cycling in the LPJ dynamic vegetation model.
  2. (2001). 678 Research New Phytologist The Authors (2010) Journal compilation New Phytologist Trust (2010) New Phytologist (2010) 187: 666–681 Cox PM.
  3. (1998). A canopy conductance and photosynthesis model for use in a GCM land surface scheme.
  4. (1982). A distribution-free approach to inducing rank correlation among input variables.
  5. (2005). A dynamic global vegetation model for studies of the coupled atmosphere-biosphere system.
  6. (2003). A dynamic global vegetation model for use with climate models: concepts and description of simulated vegetation dynamics.
  7. (2001). A method for scaling vegetation dynamics: the ecosystem demography model (ED).
  8. (1986). A simple biosphere model (SiB) for use within general circulation models.
  9. (2000). Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model.
  10. (2009). Adjustment of growth, starch turnover, protein content and central metabolism to a decrease of the carbon supply when Arabidopsis is grown in very short photoperiods.
  11. (2004). Amazon dieback under climate-carbon cycle projections for the 21st century.
  12. (2000). An analogue model to derive additional climate change scenarios from existing GCM simulations.
  13. (2008). Biomass allocation and leaf life span in relation to light interception by tropical forest plants during the first years of secondary succession.
  14. (2004). Calibration of a land-surface model using data from primary forest sites in Amazonia.
  15. (1992). Canopy reflectance, photosynthesis and transpiration III: a reanalysis using improved leaf models and a new canopy integration scheme. Remote Sensing and Environment
  16. (2003). Carbon limitation in trees.
  17. (2007). Climate change consequences on the biome distribution in tropical
  18. (2006). Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis. Results form the C4MIP model intercomparison.
  19. (2010). Climate-induced forest mortality: a global overview of emerging risks.
  20. (2008). CO2 fertilization in temperate forest FACE experiments not representative of boreal and tropical forests.
  21. (2003). CO2 flux history 1982–2001 inferred from atmospheric data using a global inversion of atmospheric transport.
  22. (2003). Coexistence: how to identify trophic trade-offs.
  23. (2005). Confronting different models of community structure to species-abundance data: a Bayesian model comparison.
  24. (2007). Coordination of carbon supply and plant growth.
  25. (1992). Coupled photo-synthesis stomatal conductance model for leaves of C4 plants.
  26. (1998). Deep soil moisture storage and transpiration in forests and pastures of seasonallydry Amazonia.
  27. (2010). Development of probability density functions for future South American rainfall.
  28. (1987). Do plants need niches? Some recent developments in plant community ecology.
  29. (2008). Drought effects on litterfall, wood production and belowground carbon cycling in an Amazon forest: results of a throughfall reduction experiment.
  30. (2009). Drought sensitivity of the Amazon rainforest.
  31. (2007). Dynamic global vegetation modeling: quantifying terrestrial ecosystem responses to large-scale environmental change.
  32. (2000). Evaluation and analysis of a dynamic terrestrial ecosystem model under preindustrial conditions at the global scale.
  33. (2008). Evaluation of the terrestrial carbon cycle, future plant geography and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks using five dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs).
  34. (2006). Evidence from Amazonian forests is consistent with a model of isohydric control of leaf water potential.
  35. (2003). Explicit representation of sub-grid heterogeneity in a GCM land-surface scheme.
  36. (2009). Exploring the likelihood and mechanism of a climate-change-induced dieback of the Amazon rainforest. doi
  37. (2005). Forecasting regional to global plant migration in response to climate change.
  38. (1996). Forest models defined by field measurements: estimation, error analysis, and dynamics. doi
  39. (2008). Forests and climate change: forcings, feedbacks, and the climate benefits of forests.
  40. (2003). Functional correlates of leaf demographic response to gap release in saplings of a shade-tolerant tree Elateriospermum tapos. doi
  41. (2008). Growth and wood density predict tree mortality in Amazon forests.
  42. (1970). Herbivores and the number of tree species.
  43. (2006). How close are we to a predictive science of the biosphere?
  44. (2008). Impacts of climate change on the vegetation of Africa: an adaptive dynamic vegetation modelling approach.
  45. (2007). Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications.
  46. (2008). Increasing risk of Amazonian drought due to decreasing aerosol pollution.
  47. (2008). Interactions among Amazon land use, forests and climate: prospects for a near-term forest tipping point. doi
  48. (2006). Intra–specific density dependence is required to maintain species diversity in spatio-temporal forest simulations with reproduction.
  49. (2005). Leaf canopy as a dynamic system: ecophysiology and optimality in leaf turnover.
  50. (2008). Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought? New Phytologist 178: 719–739. doi
  51. (2009). On the emergent spatial structure of size-structured populations: when does self-thinning lead to a reduction in clustering?
  52. (1971). On the role of natural enemies in preventing competitive exclusion in some marine animals and rainforests. In:
  53. (2005). Performance trade-offs among tropical tree seedlings in contrasting microhabitats.
  54. (1991). Physiological and environmental regulation of stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration: a model that includes a laminar boundary layer. Agricultural and Forest
  55. (2010). Physiological mechanisms of droughtinduced tree mortality are far from being resolved.
  56. (2007). Plant species migration as a key uncertainty in predicting future impacts of climate change on ecosystems: progress and challenges in terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world, global change – The IGBP series.
  57. (2008). Predicting and understanding forest dynamics using a simple tractable model. doi
  58. (2007). Predicting leaf physiology from simple plant and climate attributes: a global GLOPNET analysis.
  59. (2008). Predictive models of forest dynamics. doi
  60. (2006). Rebuilding community ecology from functional traits. doi
  61. (2007). Resolving the biodiversity paradox.
  62. (2006). Sapling strength and safety: the importance of wood density in tropical forests.
  63. (2006). Scaling of angiosperm xylem structure with safety and efficiency.
  64. (1995). Seasonal soil water storage changes beneath central Amazonian rainforest and pasture.
  65. (2002). Seasonality in CO2 and H2O flux at an eastern Amazonian rain forest.
  66. (2004). Seasonality of water and heat fluxes over a tropical forest in eastern Amazonia. Ecological Applications 14: S22– S32.
  67. (2007). SEIB–DGVM: a new dynamic global vegetation model using a spatially explicit individual-based approach.
  68. (2010). Shifts in plant respiration and carbon use efficiency at a large-scale drought experiment in the eastern Amazon.
  69. (2006). Simulating competition and coexistence between plant functional types in a dynamic vegetation model.
  70. (2009). Systematic assessment of terrestrial biogeochemistry in coupled climate– carbon models.
  71. (2009). Temperature sensitivity of drought-induced tree mortality portends increased regional die-off under global-change-type drought.
  72. (2008). Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world.
  73. (2008). The fate of assimilated carbon during drought: impacts on respiration in Amazon rain forests.
  74. (2010). The importance of wood traits and hydraulic conductance for the performance and life history strategies of 42 rainforest tree species.
  75. (2006). The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on climate.
  76. (2004). The metacommunity concept: a framework for multi-scale community ecology. doi
  77. (2007). The response of an Eastern Amazonian rain forest to drought stress: results and modelling analyses from a through-fall exclusion experiment.
  78. (1994). The role of deep roots in the hydrological and carbon cycles of Amazonian forests and pastures.
  79. (2009). The stratification theory for plant coexistence promoted by one-sided competition. doi
  80. (2008). Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon ‘dieback’.
  81. (2006). TreeMig: a forest-landscape model for simulating spatio– temporal patterns from stand to landscape scale. doi
  82. (2007). Understanding heightstructured competition in forests: is there an R* for light?
  83. (2004). Variation in wood density determines spatial patterns in Amazonian forest biomass.
  84. (2009). Variations in leaf physiological properties within Amazon forest canopies. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.