Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

The biophysics, ecology, and biogeochemistry of functionally diverse, vertically- and horizontally-heterogeneous ecosystems: the Ecosystem Demography Model, version 2.2 – Part 2: Model evaluation

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.

Abstract. The Ecosystem Demography Model version 2.2 (ED-2.2) is a terrestrial biosphere model that simulates the biophysical and biogeochemical cycles of dynamic ecosystems while considering the role of vertical structure of plant communities and the heterogeneity of such structures across the landscape. In a companion paper, we described in detail how the model solves the energy, water, and carbon cycles, and verified the excellent conservation of such properties in long-term simulation. Here, we present a thorough assessment of the model's ability to represent multiple processes associated with the biophysical and biogeochemical cycles, with focus on the Amazon forest. We used multiple measurements from eddy covariance towers, forest inventory plots and regional remote-sensing products to assess the model's ability to represent biophysical, physiological, and ecological processes at multiple time scales ranging from sub-daily to century-long. The ED-2.2 model accurately describes the vertical distribution of light, water fluxes and the storage of water, energy and carbon in the canopy air space, the regional distribution of biomass in tropical South America, and the variability of biomass as a function of environmental drivers. In addition, ED-2.2 also simulates emerging properties of the ecosystem found in observations, such as the relationship between biomass and mortality rates and wood density, although the relationships predicted by the model were biased. We also identified some of the model limitations, such as the model's tendency to overestimate the magnitude and seasonality of heterotrophic respiration, and to overestimate growth rates in a nutrient-poor tropical site. The evaluation presented here highlights the potential of incorporating structural and functional heterogeneity within biomes in ESMs, to realistically represent the role of forest structure and composition on energy, water, and carbon cycles, as well as the priority areas for further model development.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item