Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model description paper
27 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
LPJmL4 – a dynamic global vegetation model with managed land: Part I – Model description
Sibyll Schaphoff1, Werner von Bloh1, Anja Rammig2, Kirsten Thonicke1, Hester Biemans3, Matthias Forkel4, Dieter Gerten1,5, Jens Heinke1, Jonas Jägermeyr1, Jürgen Knauer6, Fanny Langerwisch1, Wolfgang Lucht1,5, Christoph Müller1, Susanne Rolinski1, and Katharina Waha1,7 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, PO Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
2Technical University of Munich, School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, 85354 Freising, Germany
3Alterra, Wageningen University & Research, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands
4TU Wien, Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing Group, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, Gusshausstraße 25-29, 1040 Wien, Austria
5Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Department of Geography, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
6Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
7CSIRO Agriculture & Food, 306 Carmody Rd, St Lucia QLD 4067, Australia
Abstract. This paper provides a comprehensive description of the newest version of the Dynamic Global Vegetation Model with managed Land, LPJmL4. This model simulates – internally consistently – the growth and productivity of both natural and agricultural vegetation in direct coupling with water and carbon fluxes. These features render LPJmL4 suitable for assessing a broad range of feedbacks within, and impacts upon, the terrestrial biosphere as increasingly shaped by human activities such as climate change and land-use change. Here we describe the core model structure including recently developed modules now unified in LPJmL4. Thereby we also summarize LPJmL model developments and evaluations (based on 34 earlier publications focused e.g. on improved representations of crop types, human and ecological water demand, and permafrost) and model applications (82 papers, e.g. on historical and future climate change impacts) since its first description in 2007. To demonstrate the main features of the LPJmL4 model, we display reference simulation results for key processes such as the current global distribution of natural and managed ecosystems, their productivities, and associated water fluxes. A thorough evaluation of the model is provided in a companion paper. By making the model source code freely available at a Gitlab server, we hope to stimulate the application and further development of LPJmL4 across scientific communities, not least in support of major activities such as the IPCC and SDG process.

Citation: Schaphoff, S., von Bloh, W., Rammig, A., Thonicke, K., Biemans, H., Forkel, M., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., Jägermeyr, J., Knauer, J., Langerwisch, F., Lucht, W., Müller, C., Rolinski, S., and Waha, K.: LPJmL4 – a dynamic global vegetation model with managed land: Part I – Model description, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Sibyll Schaphoff et al.
Sibyll Schaphoff et al.
Sibyll Schaphoff et al.


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Short summary
Here we provide a comprehensive model description of a global terrestrial biosphere model, named LPJmL4, incorporating the carbon and water cycle and the quantification of the agricultural production. The model allows for consistent and joint quantification of climate and land-use change impacts on the biosphere. The model represents the key ecosystem functions, but also the influence of humans on the biosphere. Its come with an evaluation paper to demonstrate the credibility of LPJmL4.
Here we provide a comprehensive model description of a global terrestrial biosphere model, named...