Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 535–541, 2012
Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 535–541, 2012

Model description paper 26 Apr 2012

Model description paper | 26 Apr 2012

Efficient modeling of sun/shade canopy radiation dynamics explicitly accounting for scattering

P. Bodin1,2 and O. Franklin3 P. Bodin and O. Franklin
  • 1Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 223 62 Lund, Sweden
  • 2Department of Geography, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
  • 3International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria

Abstract. The separation of global radiation (Rg) into its direct (Rb) and diffuse constituents (Rg) is important when modeling plant photosynthesis because a high Rd:Rg ratio has been shown to enhance Gross Primary Production (GPP). To include this effect in vegetation models, the plant canopy must be separated into sunlit and shaded leaves. However, because such models are often too intractable and computationally expensive for theoretical or large scale studies, simpler sun-shade approaches are often preferred. A widely used and computationally efficient sun-shade model was developed by Goudriaan (1977) (GOU). However, compared to more complex models, this model's realism is limited by its lack of explicit treatment of radiation scattering.

Here we present a new model based on the GOU model, but which in contrast explicitly simulates radiation scattering by sunlit leaves and the absorption of this radiation by the canopy layers above and below (2-stream approach). Compared to the GOU model our model predicts significantly different profiles of scattered radiation that are in better agreement with measured profiles of downwelling diffuse radiation. With respect to these data our model's performance is equal to a more complex and much slower iterative radiation model while maintaining the simplicity and computational efficiency of the GOU model.