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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-65
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-65
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 14 Apr 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 14 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

CoupModel (v6.0): an ecosystem model for coupled phosphorus, nitrogen and carbon dynamics – evaluated against empirical data from a climatic and fertility gradient in Sweden

Hongxing He1, Per-Erik Jansson2, and Annemieke Gärdenäs1 Hongxing He et al.
  • 1Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 460, Gothenburg 40530, Sweden
  • 2Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. This study presents the integration of the phosphorus (P) cycle into CoupModel (Coup-CNP). The extended Coup-CNP enables simulations of coupled carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and P dynamics for terrestrial ecosystems which explicitly consider mycorrhizal interactions. The model was evaluated against observed forest growth and measured leaf C/P, C/N and N/P ratios in four managed forest regions in Sweden. The four regions form a climatic and fertility gradient from 64° N in the North to 56° N in South Sweden with the mean annual temperature varying between 0.7–7.1 °C and the soil C/N and C/P ratios between 19.8–31.5 and 425–633, respectively. The growth of the southern forests was found to be P-limited, with harvested biomass representing the largest P loss over the studied rotation period. The simulated P budgets revealed that southern forests are losing P while northern forests are close to a steady state in P availability. Mycorrhizal fungi account for half of the total plant P uptake across all four regions, which highlights the importance of fungal-tree interactions in Swedish forests. Sensitivity analysis results demonstrated that the highest forest growth occurs at a soil N/P ratio of 15 to 20. A soil N/P ratio above 15–20 resulted in decreased soil C sequestration and total P leaching, but significantly increased N leaching. The development and evaluation of the new Coup-CNP model demonstrate that P fluxes need to be further considered in studies of how climate change will influence C turnover and ecosystem responses. We conclude that the potential P-limitation of terrestrial ecosystems highlights the need of a proper consideration of the P cycle in biogeochemical models. The inclusion of the P cycle is necessary in order to make models reliable tools for assessing long-term impacts of climate change and N deposition on C sequestration and N leaching.

Hongxing He et al.

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Data sets

CoupModel (v6.0): code and evaluating database H. He, P.-E. Jansson, and A. Gärdenäs https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3547628

Model code and software

CoupModel (v6.0): code and evaluating database H. He, P.-E. Jansson, and A. Gärdenäs https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3547628

Hongxing He et al.

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Latest update: 31 May 2020
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Short summary
We present the integration of the phosphorus (P) cycle into CoupModel (Coup-CNP). The extended Coup-CNP enables simulations of coupled C, N and P dynamics for terrestrial ecosystems which explicitly consider mycorrhizal interactions. The development and evaluation of the new Coup-CNP model demonstrate that P fluxes need to be further considered in studies of how climate change will influence C turnover and ecosystem responses.
We present the integration of the phosphorus (P) cycle into CoupModel (Coup-CNP). The extended...
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