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
22 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Simulating ectomycorrhiza in boreal forests: implementing ectomycorrhizal fungi model MYCOFON into CoupModel (V5)
Hongxing He1, Astrid Meyer1,a, Per-Erik Jansson2, Magnus Svensson2, Tobias Rütting1, and Leif Klemedtsson1 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Po Box 460, Gothenburg 40530, Sweden
2Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Brinellvägen 28, Stockholm 100 44, Sweden
anow at: Institute of Groundwater Ecology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstraße 1, Neuherberg 85764, Germany
Abstract. Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM), the symbiosis between a host plant and mycorrhizal fungi, has been shown to considerably influence the C and N flux between soil, the rhizosphere and plant in boreal forest ecosystems. However, ECM is either neglected or presented as an implicit, non-dynamic term in most ecosystem models which can potentially reduce their predictive power.

In order to investigate the necessity of an explicit consideration of ECM in ecosystem models, we implemented the previous developed MYCOFON model into a detail process-based soil-plant-atmosphere model, CoupModel. MYCOFON explicitly describes the C and N fluxes between ECM and roots. This new Coup-Mycofon model approach (ECM explicit) is compared to two simpler model approaches, of which one contains ECM implicitly as an non-dynamic N uptake function (ECM implicit) and the other represents a version where plant growth has a constant N availability (nonlim). Parameter uncertainties are quantified by using Bayesian calibration where the model outputs are constrained to current forest growth and soil conditions for four forest sites along a climate and N deposition gradient in Sweden over 100 year period.

Our results show that the nonlim approach could not describe both the forest growth and soil C and N conditions properly. The ECM implicit/explicit approach is able to describe current conditions with acceptable uncertainty. The ECM explicit Coup-Mycofon model provide a more detailed description of internal ecosystems fluxes and feedbacks of C and N fluxes between plant, soil and ECM. Our modelling highlights the need of incorporating ECM in current ecosystem models. We also provide a key set of posterior fungal parameters which can be further investigated and evaluated in future ECM studies.

Citation: He, H., Meyer, A., Jansson, P.-E., Svensson, M., Rütting, T., and Klemedtsson, L.: Simulating ectomycorrhiza in boreal forests: implementing ectomycorrhizal fungi model MYCOFON into CoupModel (V5), Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Hongxing He et al.
Hongxing He et al.


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Short summary
Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) have shown a major impact on forest C and N cycles, but are currently neglected in most ecosystem models. We thus implemented the previous developed ectomycorrhizal fungi model, MYCOFON into a well established ecosystem model, CoupModel. This paper discribes the key components and features of Coup-Mycofon model. The new version of CoupModel now can simulates C and N fluxes and pools, with explicitly accouting for links and feebacks between the plant, soil and ECM.
Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) have shown a major impact on forest C and N cycles, but are...