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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2017-258
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 07 Nov 2017

Model description paper | 07 Nov 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.

EcoGEnIE 0.1: Plankton Ecology in the cGENIE Earth system model

Ben A. Ward1,2, Jamie D. Wilson1, Ros M. Death1, Fanny M. Monteiro1, Andrew Yool2, and Andy Ridgwell1,3 Ben A. Ward et al.
  • 1School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK
  • 2National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside CA, USA

Abstract. We present an extension to the cGENIE Earth System model that explicitly accounts for the growth and interaction of an arbitrary number of plankton species. The new package (ECOGEM) replaces the implicit, flux-based, parameterisation of the plankton community currently employed, with explicitly resolved plankton populations and ecological dynamics. In ECOGEM, any number of plankton species, with ecophysiological traits (e.g. growth and grazing rates) assigned according to organism size and functional group (e.g. phytoplankton and zooplankton) can be incorporated at run-time. We illustrate the capability of the marine ecology enabled Earth system model (EcoGENIE) by comparing results from one configuration of ECOGEM (with eight generic phytoplankton and zooplankton size classes) to climatological and seasonal observations. We find that the new ecological components of the model show reasonable agreement with both global-scale climatological and local-scale seasonal data. We also compare EcoGENIE results to a the existing biogeochemical incarnation of cGENIE. We find that the resulting global-scale distributions of phosphate, iron, dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity and oxygen are similar for both iterations of the model. A slight deterioration in some fields in EcoGENIE (relative to the data) is observed, although we make no attempt to re-tune the overall marine cycling of carbon and nutrients here. The increased capabilities of EcoGENIE in this regard will enable future exploration of the ecological community on much longer timescales than have previously been examined in global ocean ecosystem models and particularly for past climates and global biogeochemical cycles.

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Ben A. Ward et al.
Ben A. Ward et al.
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A novel configuration of an Earth system model includes a diverse plankton community. The model – EcoGeNIE – is sufficiently complex to reproduce a realistic, size-structured plankton community, while at the same time retaining the efficiency to run to a global steady state (~ 10 k years). The increased capabilities of EcoGENIE will allow future exploration of ecological communities on much longer timescales than have so far been examined in global ocean models and particularly for past climates.
A novel configuration of an Earth system model includes a diverse plankton community. The model...
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