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Modelling Holocene peatland dynamics with an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

Chaudhary, Nitin LU ; Miller, Paul A. LU and Smith, Benjamin LU (2017) In Biogeosciences 14(10). p.2571-2596
Abstract

Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are designed for the study of past, present and future vegetation patterns together with associated biogeochemical cycles and climate feedbacks. However, most DGVMs do not yet have detailed representations of permafrost and non-permafrost peatlands, which are an important store of carbon, particularly at high latitudes. We demonstrate a new implementation of peatland dynamics in a customized "Arctic" version of the LPJ-GUESS DGVM, simulating the long-term evolution of selected northern peatland ecosystems and assessing the effect of changing climate on peatland carbon balance. Our approach employs a dynamic multi-layer soil with representation of freeze-thaw processes and litter inputs from a... (More)

Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are designed for the study of past, present and future vegetation patterns together with associated biogeochemical cycles and climate feedbacks. However, most DGVMs do not yet have detailed representations of permafrost and non-permafrost peatlands, which are an important store of carbon, particularly at high latitudes. We demonstrate a new implementation of peatland dynamics in a customized "Arctic" version of the LPJ-GUESS DGVM, simulating the long-term evolution of selected northern peatland ecosystems and assessing the effect of changing climate on peatland carbon balance. Our approach employs a dynamic multi-layer soil with representation of freeze-thaw processes and litter inputs from a dynamically varying mixture of the main peatland plant functional types: mosses, shrubs and graminoids. The model was calibrated and tested for a sub-Arctic mire in Stordalen, Sweden, and validated at a temperate bog site in Mer Bleue, Canada. A regional evaluation of simulated carbon fluxes, hydrology and vegetation dynamics encompassed additional locations spread across Scandinavia. Simulated peat accumulation was found to be generally consistent with published data and the model was able to capture reported long-term vegetation dynamics, water table position and carbon fluxes. A series of sensitivity experiments were carried out to investigate the vulnerability of high-latitude peatlands to climate change. We found that the Stordalen mire may be expected to sequester more carbon in the first half of the 21st century due to milder and wetter climate conditions, a longer growing season, and the CO2 fertilization effect, turning into a carbon source after mid-century because of higher decomposition rates in response to warming soils.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biogeosciences
volume
14
issue
10
pages
26 pages
publisher
Copernicus Publications
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019649453
  • wos:000401743500001
ISSN
1726-4170
DOI
10.5194/bg-14-2571-2017
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3944ef7b-ba00-4f2b-a49a-76e6c2028507
date added to LUP
2017-06-09 08:31:31
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:39:58
@article{3944ef7b-ba00-4f2b-a49a-76e6c2028507,
  abstract     = {<p>Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are designed for the study of past, present and future vegetation patterns together with associated biogeochemical cycles and climate feedbacks. However, most DGVMs do not yet have detailed representations of permafrost and non-permafrost peatlands, which are an important store of carbon, particularly at high latitudes. We demonstrate a new implementation of peatland dynamics in a customized "Arctic" version of the LPJ-GUESS DGVM, simulating the long-term evolution of selected northern peatland ecosystems and assessing the effect of changing climate on peatland carbon balance. Our approach employs a dynamic multi-layer soil with representation of freeze-thaw processes and litter inputs from a dynamically varying mixture of the main peatland plant functional types: mosses, shrubs and graminoids. The model was calibrated and tested for a sub-Arctic mire in Stordalen, Sweden, and validated at a temperate bog site in Mer Bleue, Canada. A regional evaluation of simulated carbon fluxes, hydrology and vegetation dynamics encompassed additional locations spread across Scandinavia. Simulated peat accumulation was found to be generally consistent with published data and the model was able to capture reported long-term vegetation dynamics, water table position and carbon fluxes. A series of sensitivity experiments were carried out to investigate the vulnerability of high-latitude peatlands to climate change. We found that the Stordalen mire may be expected to sequester more carbon in the first half of the 21st century due to milder and wetter climate conditions, a longer growing season, and the CO<sub>2</sub> fertilization effect, turning into a carbon source after mid-century because of higher decomposition rates in response to warming soils.</p>},
  author       = {Chaudhary, Nitin and Miller, Paul A. and Smith, Benjamin},
  issn         = {1726-4170},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {2571--2596},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Publications},
  series       = {Biogeosciences},
  title        = {Modelling Holocene peatland dynamics with an individual-based dynamic vegetation model},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-2571-2017},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2017},
}