A representation of the phosphorus cycle for ORCHIDEE (revision 4520)
Abstract. Land surface models rarely incorporate the terrestrial phosphorus cycle and its interactions with the carbon cycle, despite the extensive scientific debate about the importance of nitrogen and phosphorus supply for future land carbon uptake. We describe a representation of the terrestrial phosphorus cycle for the ORCHIDEE land surface model, and evaluate it with data from nutrient manipulation experiments along a soil formation chronosequence in Hawaii.
ORCHIDEE accounts for the influence of the nutritional state of vegetation on tissue nutrient concentrations, photosynthesis, plant growth, biomass allocation, biochemical (phosphatase-mediated) mineralization, and biological nitrogen fixation. Changes in the nutrient content (quality) of litter affect the carbon use efficiency of decomposition and in return the nutrient availability to vegetation. The model explicitly accounts for root zone depletion of phosphorus as a function of root phosphorus uptake and phosphorus transport from the soil to the root surface.
The model captures the observed differences in the foliage stoichiometry of vegetation between an early (300-year) and a late (4.1 Myr) stage of soil development. The contrasting sensitivities of net primary productivity to the addition of either nitrogen, phosphorus, or both among sites are in general reproduced by the model. As observed, the model simulates a preferential stimulation of leaf level productivity when nitrogen stress is alleviated, while leaf level productivity and leaf area index are stimulated equally when phosphorus stress is alleviated. The nutrient use efficiencies in the model are lower than observed primarily due to biases in the nutrient content and turnover of woody biomass.
We conclude that ORCHIDEE is able to reproduce the shift from nitrogen to phosphorus limited net primary productivity along the soil development chronosequence, as well as the contrasting responses of net primary productivity to nutrient addition.