Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Development and technical paper
10 Jun 2015
Development and technical paper |  | 10 Jun 2015

Improving the ISBACC land surface model simulation of water and carbon fluxes and stocks over the Amazon forest

E. Joetzjer, C. Delire, H. Douville, P. Ciais, B. Decharme, D. Carrer, H. Verbeeck, M. De Weirdt, and D. Bonal

Abstract. We evaluate the ISBACC (Interaction Soil Biosphere Atmosphere Carbon Cycle) land surface model (LSM) over the Amazon forest, and propose a revised parameterization of photosynthesis, including new soil water stress and autotrophic respiration (RA) functions. The revised version allows the model to better capture the energy, water and carbon fluxes when compared to five Amazonian flux towers. The performance of ISBACC is slightly site dependent although similar to the widely evaluated LSM ORCHIDEE (Organizing Carbon and Hydrology In Dynamic Ecosystems – version 1187), which is based on different assumptions. Changes made to the autotrophic respiration functions, including a vertical profile of leaf respiration, lead to yearly simulated carbon use efficiency (CUE) and carbon stocks which is consistent with an ecophysiological meta-analysis conducted on three Amazonian sites. Despite these major improvements, ISBACC struggles to capture the apparent seasonality of the carbon fluxes derived from the flux tower estimations. However, there is still no consensus on the seasonality of carbon fluxes over the Amazon, stressing a need for more observations as well as a better understanding of the main drivers of autotrophic respiration.