EGU23-3712, updated on 22 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Confronting models with data: carbon-phosphorus interaction under elevated CO2 in a mature forest ecosystem (EucFACE)

Mingkai Jiang1,2, Belinda Medlyn2, David Wårlind3, Jürgen Knauer2,4, Daniel Goll5, Lin Yu6,7, Katrin Fleischer6, Haicheng Zhang8, Xiaojuan Yang9, Sönke Zaehle6, David Ellsworth2, and Benjamin Smith2,3
Mingkai Jiang et al.
  • 1Zhejiang University, China (
  • 2Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • 3Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden
  • 4CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, Canberra, Australia
  • 5Université Paris Saclay, France
  • 6Biogeochemical Signals Department, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany
  • 7Hamburg University, Germany
  • 8Department Geoscience, Environment & Society-BGEOSYS, Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 9Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge, USA

The importance of phosphorus (P) in plant function and ecosystem biogeochemistry has led to the addition of a P cycle to a range of vegetation models, but the predictions of these P-enabled models have rarely been evaluated with ecosystem-scale data. Here, we confronted eight state-of-the-art, P-enabled models with data from EucFACE, a P-limited Eucalyptus forest subject to long-term Free-Air CO2 Enrichment. We evaluated the capability of the models to capture the observed elevated CO2 responses in this ecosystem. We show that the inclusion of phosphorus-cycle is necessary to more realistically simulate ecosystem function and biogeochemistry, but this enhanced capacity did not directly translate into improved prediction accuracy. Specifically, models diverged in capturing the observed CO2 responses, with simulation accuracy depending upon model assumptions about plant physiology, allocation, plant-soil interactions and soil nutrient processes. Confronting models with experimental responses observed at EucFACE represents a valuable opportunity to improve our understanding of the carbon-phosphorus interaction under rising CO2, and is an important step towards more accurate predictions of the future land carbon sink under climate change.

How to cite: Jiang, M., Medlyn, B., Wårlind, D., Knauer, J., Goll, D., Yu, L., Fleischer, K., Zhang, H., Yang, X., Zaehle, S., Ellsworth, D., and Smith, B.: Confronting models with data: carbon-phosphorus interaction under elevated CO2 in a mature forest ecosystem (EucFACE), EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-3712,, 2023.