Project > Models

Ecosystem models

CARBO-Extreme makes use of ecosystem models from two general categories. Sectorial models (SUNDIAL, PASIM, BASFOR) simulate biogeochemical cycles and thus the state of a specific ecosystem type (cropland, grassland, forest). These models have a daily time step and have process representations that are specifically important for the respective ecosystem (e.g. the effect of tillage on productivity for croplands or the effect of selective logging on productivity for forests). In contrast, generic ecosystem models (JSBACH, ORCHIDEE, CLM, LPJmL) take into account a mixture of ecosystems within a larger grid cell, with different levels of complexity of interactions between these ecosystems. These models work as land-surface schemes of climate models and serve the atmospheric model with biogeochemical fluxes, surface albedo and roughness length, hence they usually resolve the diurnal cycle with typically half-hourly time step.

The table below is a first attempt to give information about the models and their individual excellence. All information is preliminary, suggestions should go to the site administrator.

In addition, you can see flowcharts of how SUNDIAL, LPJmL, CLM3.5, or DGVMs in general work. Many parts of these descriptions are also true for the other models, but not necessarily.

NameAcronymReference (more here)PurposesFeatures/ProcessesContact
SimUlation of Nitrogen Dynamics In Arable LandSUNDIALSmith et al., 1996cropland managementcarbon-nitrogen cycles, management practicies and its change, anaerobic processesJo Smith, Pete Smith (University of Aberdeen)
Pasture Simulation ModelPASIMRiedo et al. (1998); Vuichard et al. (2007)Grassland ecosystem response to environmental change and feedbacks to the atmosphereCoupled soil-vegetation-herbivore-atmosphere model. Carbon, nitrogen and water cycles. Herbage productivity and quality, ruminant production (meat and milk), soil C sequestration, N2O and CH4 (enteric fermentation) emissionsJean-François Soussana & Gianni Bellocchi (INRA, Clermont-Ferrand)
The BASic FORest modelBASFORVan Oijen et al. 2005wood productivity in response to forest management, climate, air pollution and atmospheric CO2 concentrationvegetation structure, age, N2O, NoxMarcel van Oijen (CEH, Edinburgh)
Jena Scheme of Biosphere-Atmosphere Coupling in HamburgJSBACHRaddatz et al., 2007Land-surface scheme, climate-ecosystem interactions, role of terrestrial ecosystems within the Earth Systemdiurnal cycle, new phenologyChristian Reick (MPI Meteorology), Christian Beer (MPI Biogeochemistry)
ORganizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic EcosystEmsORCHIDEEKrinner et al., 2005Land-surface scheme, climate-ecosystem interactions, role of terrestrial ecosystems within the Earth Systemcrop dynamics and fluxes, dynamic vegetation, competition, vegetation structure, diurnal cyclePhilippe Peylin (LSCE/CEA)
Community Land Model v3.5CLM3.5Oleson et al., 2004Land-surface scheme, climate-ecosystem interactions, role of terrestrial ecosystems within the Earth Systemsunlit and shaded leaves, diurnal cycleSam Levis (NCAR, Boulder), Paulo Oliveira (ETH, Zürich)
Lund-Potsdam-Jena Dynamic Global Vegetation Model, managed landsLPJmLBondeau et al., 2007Response of ecosystem functioning to environmental changecrop dynamics and fluxes, dynamic vegetation, competition, vegetation structureAlberte Bondeau, Anja Rammig (PIK, Potsdam)

Comparison of generic models

The following table aims at comparing the most important features of the generic models. For example, LPJmL is the only model that runs with a daily temporal resolution but represents various crop PFTs with explicit crop phenology and represents a full competition. ORCHIDEE is the only land-surface scheme of a climate model that has a dynamic vegetation representation and it also represents forest stand structure and forest management. JSBACH has a logistic phenology model, and CLM represents carbon-nitrogen interactions.

Allometry, veg structure dynamicprescribeddynamic
Dynamic Vegetaion competition for water full competition
Fire Thonicke01 Thonicke01
Phenologylogisticinterpolation from min to maxprescribedinterpolation from min to max
Canopy representation3 layers, 2-stream-approximationbig leaf2-stream-approximation for sunlit and shaded leavesbig leaf
allocation=f(environment) X X
crops1 PFT2 PFTs1 PFTn PFTs, crop phenology
subgridcell representationdistinctdistinctdistincthomoeneous mixed PFTs
soil hydrology1 bucket11 bucktes10 buckets2 buckets
typical time step30 min30 min30 min1 day
possible driving time step1 day1 day1 day1 day
trace gasesCO2, H2OCO2, H2OCO2, H2OCO2, H2O
C reserve1 pool1 pool1 pool 
Carbon-Nitrogen interaction  X 
forest management thinning, clearcut  
age structure, cohorts diameter distribution