Submitted as: model description paper 09 Jul 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 09 Jul 2019

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

A process-based Sphagnum plant-functional-type model for implementation in the TRIFFID Dynamic Global Vegetation Model

Richard Coppell, Emanuel Gloor, and Joseph Holden Richard Coppell et al.
  • School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

Abstract. Peatlands are important carbon stores and Sphagnum moss represents a critical peatland genus contributing to carbon exchange and storage. However, gas fluxes in Sphagnum-dominated systems are poorly represented in Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) which simulate, via incorporation of Plant Functional Types (PFTs), biogeochemical and energy fluxes between vegetation, the land surface and the atmosphere. Mechanisms characterised by PFTs within DGVMs include photosynthesis, respiration and competition and, in more recent DGVMs, sub-daily gas-exchange processes regulated by leaf 10 stomata. However, Sphagnum, like all mosses, are non-vascular plants and do not exhibit stomatal regulation. In order to achieve a level of process detail consistent with existing vascular vegetation PFTs within DGVMs, this paper describes a new process-based non-vascular-PFT model that is implemented within the TRIFFID DGVM used by the JULES land surface model. The new PFT model was tested against extant published field and laboratory studies of peat assemblage-net primary productivity, assemblage-gross primary productivity, assemblage respiration, water-table position, incoming 15 photosynthetically active radiation, temperature, and canopy dark respiration. The PFT model’s parameters were roughly tuned and the PFT model easily produced curves of the correct shape for peat assemblage-net primary productivity against water-table position, incoming photosynthetically active radiation and temperature, suggesting that it replicates the internal productivity mechanism of Sphagnum for the first time. Minor modifications should also allow it to be used across a range of other bryophytes enabling this non-vascular PFT model to have enhanced functionality.

Richard Coppell et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Richard Coppell et al.

Model code and software

JULES DGVM modified SURFACE subroutines only, incorporating Sphagnum PFT func University of Leeds R. Coppell

Richard Coppell et al.


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Latest update: 27 Jan 2021
Short summary
(1) We developed a new Sphagnum model for ecosystem exchange. (2) The model is implemented in TRIFFID which is part of the JULES land surface model. (3) Outputs compare well to empirical field data. (4) JULES can now better incorporate peatland-climate feedbacks.