EGU23-5871, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Advances and limitations in carbon and water cycle modeling using the Biome-BGCMuSo biogeochemical model in a Central European beech forest

Laura Dobor1, Peter Petrík2, Ina Zavadilová3, Ladislav Šigut3, Dóra Hidy4, Nándor Fodor1,5, Zoltán Barcza1,6, Tomas Hlásny1, and Katarína Merganičová1
Laura Dobor et al.
  • 1Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, 165 21 Prague 6, Kamýcká 129, Czech Republic
  • 2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Environmental Research, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 3Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, Belidla 986/4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
  • 4MTA-MATE Agroecological Research Group, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Páter K. 1., 2103 Gödöllő, Hungary
  • 5Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research, H-2462 Martonvásár, Brunszvik u. 2, Hungary
  • 6ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, Department of Meteorology, Budapest H-1117, Pázmány P. st. 1/A, Hungary

Approximately 30% of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are removed from the atmosphere annually by land-based carbon sinks, mainly forests. Extreme weather events such as droughts and heatwaves are expected to be more frequent and severe in the future affecting the carbon-water balance of ecosystems. Although empirical studies elucidate many of these processes, some questions cannot be addressed directly and require constructing in silico representations of real ecosystems. Process-based ecosystem models have recently received increased recognition due to their structural improvements and the increasing success of reproducing complex feedback mechanisms of carbon and water cycles.

We used the Biome-BGCMuSo biogeochemical model to simulate pools and fluxes of carbon, water, and nitrogen in vegetation, litter, and soil on a daily scale. The model is under continuous development and in the last few years, the hydrological cycle submodel went through substantial improvements. We examined the model performance regarding water and carbon cycle simulation using the data from an ecosystem station covered by a circa 100-year-old unmanaged beech forest. The site is included in the FLUXNET global network of micrometeorological tower sites and is operated by the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The extensively tested model can help to understand complex feedback mechanisms under drought events as well as future climatic conditions and estimate future carbon sink potentials in Central Europe. 

In particular, we (i) evaluated the model performance using biomass, leaf area index (LAI) measurements, five-year-long eddy-covariance measurements of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and evapotranspiration (ET), (ii) developed an efficient benchmark framework that highlighted structural and/or functional errors in the model, (iii) analyzed the simulated carbon and water cycle under drought events (consecutive dry days) occurring different time of the year and (iv) projected the effects of climate change on the forest carbon and water cycle up to 2100 using climate change scenarios from the FORESEE climatological dataset.

We found that the simulated biomass and LAI values are in the range of the observations, NEE and ET are overestimated by 5% and 11% during the vegetation period, respectively. Simulation runs assuming 30-days drought events at different months in five different years caused immediate NEE decrease compared to simulations without drought events. We found the largest NEE difference (up to 10% on the average of five years) in the cases when the drought occurred in July, August, or in September. Simulations driven by climate change scenarios showed that NEE is expected to increase by the of the century, while the ET does not show any significant change in the future. 

How to cite: Dobor, L., Petrík, P., Zavadilová, I., Šigut, L., Hidy, D., Fodor, N., Barcza, Z., Hlásny, T., and Merganičová, K.: Advances and limitations in carbon and water cycle modeling using the Biome-BGCMuSo biogeochemical model in a Central European beech forest, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-5871,, 2023.