Implications of incorporating N cycling and N limitations on primary production in an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

Typ: Rapport
Serie: Biogeosciences Discussions 10, 18613-18685
Författare: Smith B, Wårlind D, Arneth A, Hickler T, Leadley P, Siltberg J och Zaehle S


The LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model uniquely combines an individual- and patch-based representation of vegetation dynamics with ecosystem biogeochemical cycling from regional to global scales. We present an updated version that includes plant and soil N dynamics, analysing the implications of accounting for C-N interactions on predictions and performance of the model. Stand structural dynamics and allometric scaling of tree growth suggested by global databases of forest stand structure and development were well-reproduced by the model in comparison to an earlier multi-model study. Accounting for N cycle dynamics improved the goodness-of-fit for broadleaved forests. N limitation associated with low N mineralisation rates reduces productivity of cold-climate and dry-climate ecosystems relative to mesic temperate and tropical ecosystems. In a model experiment emulating free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) treatment for forests globally, N-limitation associated with low N mineralisation rates of colder soils reduces CO2-enhancement of NPP for boreal forests, while some temperate and tropical forests exhibit increased NPP enhancement. Under a business-as-usual future climate and emissions scenario, ecosystem C storage globally was projected to increase by c. 10%; additional N requirements to match this increasing ecosystem C were within the high N supply limit estimated on stoichiometric grounds in an earlier study. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for C-N interactions not only in studies of global terrestrial C cycling, but to understand underlying mechanisms on local scales and in different regional contexts.