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    Modeling of two different water uptake approaches for mono-and mixed-species forest stands
    (Basel : MDPI, 2015) Gutsch, Martin; Lasch-Born, Petra; Suckow, Felicitas; Reyer, Christopher P.O.
    To assess how the effects of drought could be better captured in process-based models, this study simulated and contrasted two water uptake approaches in Scots pine and Scots pine-Sessile oak stands. The first approach consisted of an empirical function for root water uptake (WU1). The second approach was based on differences of soil water potential along a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (WU2) with total root resistance varying at low, medium and high total root resistance levels. Three data sets on different time scales relevant for tree growth were used for model evaluation: Two short-term datasets on daily transpiration and soil water content as well as a long-term dataset on annual tree ring increments. Except WU2 with high total root resistance, all transpiration outputs exceeded observed values. The strongest correlation between simulated and observed annual tree ring width occurred with WU2 and high total root resistance. The findings highlighted the importance of severe drought as a main reason for small diameter increment. However, if all three data sets were taken into account, no approach was superior to the other. We conclude that accurate projections of future forest productivity depend largely on the realistic representation of root water uptake in forest model simulations.
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    Impact of droughts on the carbon cycle in European vegetation: A probabilistic risk analysis using six vegetation models
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2014) Van Oijen, M.; Balkovi, J.; Beer, C.; Cameron, D.R.; Ciais, P.; Cramer, W.; Kato, T.; Kuhnert, M.; Martin, R.; Myneni, R.; Rammig, A.; Rolinski, S.; Soussana, J.-F.; Thonicke, K.; Van der Velde, M.; Xu, L.
    We analyse how climate change may alter risks posed by droughts to carbon fluxes in European ecosystems. The approach follows a recently proposed framework for risk analysis based on probability theory. In this approach, risk is quantified as the product of hazard probability and ecosystem vulnerability. The probability of a drought hazard is calculated here from the Standardized Precipitation–Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI). Vulnerability is calculated from the response to drought simulated by process-based vegetation models. We use six different models: three for generic vegetation (JSBACH, LPJmL, ORCHIDEE) and three for specific ecosystems (Scots pine forests: BASFOR; winter wheat fields: EPIC; grasslands: PASIM). The periods 1971–2000 and 2071–2100 are compared. Climate data are based on gridded observations and on output from the regional climate model REMO using the SRES A1B scenario. The risk analysis is carried out for ~ 18 000 grid cells of 0.25 × 0.25° across Europe. For each grid cell, drought vulnerability and risk are quantified for five seasonal variables: net primary and ecosystem productivity (NPP, NEP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh), soil water content and evapotranspiration. In this analysis, climate change leads to increased drought risks for net primary productivity in the Mediterranean area: five of the models estimate that risk will exceed 15%. The risks increase mainly because of greater drought probability; ecosystem vulnerability will increase to a lesser extent. Because NPP will be affected more than Rh, future carbon sequestration (NEP) will also be at risk predominantly in southern Europe, with risks exceeding 0.25 g C m−2 d−1 according to most models, amounting to reductions in carbon sequestration of 20 to 80%.
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    A probabilistic risk assessment for the vulnerability of the European carbon cycle to weather extremes: The ecosystem perspective
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2015) Rolinski, S.; Rammig, A.; Walz, A.; von Bloh, W.; van Oijen, M.; Thonicke, K.
    Extreme weather events are likely to occur more often under climate change and the resulting effects on ecosystems could lead to a further acceleration of climate change. But not all extreme weather events lead to extreme ecosystem response. Here, we focus on hazardous ecosystem behaviour and identify coinciding weather conditions. We use a simple probabilistic risk assessment based on time series of ecosystem behaviour and climate conditions. Given the risk assessment terminology, vulnerability and risk for the previously defined hazard are estimated on the basis of observed hazardous ecosystem behaviour. We apply this approach to extreme responses of terrestrial ecosystems to drought, defining the hazard as a negative net biome productivity over a 12-month period. We show an application for two selected sites using data for 1981–2010 and then apply the method to the pan-European scale for the same period, based on numerical modelling results (LPJmL for ecosystem behaviour; ERA-Interim data for climate). Our site-specific results demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method, using the SPEI to describe the climate condition. The site in Spain provides an example of vulnerability to drought because the expected value of the SPEI is 0.4 lower for hazardous than for non-hazardous ecosystem behaviour. In northern Germany, on the contrary, the site is not vulnerable to drought because the SPEI expectation values imply wetter conditions in the hazard case than in the non-hazard case. At the pan-European scale, ecosystem vulnerability to drought is calculated in the Mediterranean and temperate region, whereas Scandinavian ecosystems are vulnerable under conditions without water shortages. These first model-based applications indicate the conceptual advantages of the proposed method by focusing on the identification of critical weather conditions for which we observe hazardous ecosystem behaviour in the analysed data set. Application of the method to empirical time series and to future climate would be important next steps to test the approach.