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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-101
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2019-101
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 12 Jun 2019

Model description paper | 12 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

HETEROFOR 1.0: a spatially explicit model for exploring the response of structurally complex forests to uncertain future conditions. I. Carbon fluxes and tree dimensional growth

Mathieu Jonard1, Frédéric André1, François de Coligny2, Louis de Wergifosse1, Nicolas Beudez2, Hendrik Davi3, Gauthier Ligot4, Quentin Ponette1, and Caroline Vincke1 Mathieu Jonard et al.
  • 1Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348, Belgium
  • 2Botany and Modelling of Plant Architecture and Vegetation (AMAP) Laboratory, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Montpellier, 34398, France
  • 3Ecologie des Forêts Méditerranéennes (URFM), Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Avignon, 84914, France
  • 4Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Université de Liège, Gembloux, 5030, Belgium

Abstract. Given the multiple abiotic and biotic stressors resulting from global changes, management systems and practices must be adapted in order to maintain and reinforce the resilience of forests. Among others, the transformation of monocultures into uneven-aged and mixed stands is an avenue to improve forest resilience. To explore the forest response to these new silvicultural practices under a changing environment, one need models combining a process-based approach with a detailed spatial representation, which is very rare.

We therefore decided to develop our own model (HETEROFOR) according to a spatially explicit approach describing individual tree growth based on resource sharing (light, water and nutrients). HETEROFOR was progressively elaborated through the integration of various modules (light interception, phenology, water cycling, photosynthesis and respiration, carbon allocation, mineral nutrition and nutrient cycling) within CAPSIS, a collaborative modelling platform devoted to tree growth and stand dynamics. The advantage of using such a platform is to use common development environment, model execution system, user- interface and visualization tools and to share data structures, objects, methods and libraries.

This paper describes the carbon-related processes of HETEROFOR (photosynthesis, respiration, carbon allocation and tree dimensional growth) and evaluates the model performances for a mixed oak and beech stand in Wallonia (Belgium). This first evaluation showed that HETEROFOR predicts well individual radial growth and is able to reproduce size-growth relationships. We also noticed that the more empirical options for describing maintenance respiration and crown extension provide the best results while the process-based approach best performs for photosynthesis. To illustrate how the model can be used to predict climate change impacts on forest ecosystems, the growth dynamics in this stand was simulated according to four IPCC climate scenarios. According to these simulations, the tree growth trends will be governed by the CO2 fertilization effect with the increase in vegetation period length and in water stress also playing a role but offsetting each other.

Mathieu Jonard et al.
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Status: open (until 07 Aug 2019)
Status: open (until 07 Aug 2019)
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Mathieu Jonard et al.
Model code and software

Code of the version 1.0 of HETEROFOR M. Jonard, F. André, and L. de Wergifosse https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3242014

Mathieu Jonard et al.
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Short summary
To explore the forest response to new forestry practices under a changing environment, one need models combining a process-based approach with a detailed spatial representation, which is very rare. We decided to develop our own model according to a spatially explicit approach describing individual tree growth based on resource sharing (light, water, nutrients). A first evaluation showed that HETEROFOR predicts well individual radial growth and is able to reproduce size-growth relationships.
To explore the forest response to new forestry practices under a changing environment, one need...
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