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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-2020-252
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-252
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 22 Oct 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 22 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Oil palm modelling in the global land-surface model ORCHIDEE-MICT

Yidi Xu1, Philippe Ciais2, Le Yu1,3, Wei Li1, Xiuzhi Chen4, Haicheng Zhang5, Chao Yue6, Kasturi Kanniah7, Arthur P. Cracknell8, and Peng Gong1,3 Yidi Xu et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Universite Paris-Saclay, Gifsur-Yvette 91191, France
  • 3Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, China
  • 4Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • 5Department Geoscience, Environment and Society, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
  • 6State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
  • 7Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security (IPASA), Research Institute for Sustainable Environment (RISE) and Faculty of Geoinformation and Real Estate, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Johor, 81310, Malaysia
  • 8School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK

Abstract. Oil palm is the most productive oil crop that provides ~40 % of the global vegetable oil supply, with 7 % of the cultivated land devoted to oil plants. The rapid expansion of oil palm cultivation is seen as one of the major cause for deforestation emissions and threatens the conservation of rain forest and swamp areas and their associated ecosystem services in tropical areas. Given the importance of oil palm in oil production and its adverse environmental consequences, it is important to understand the physiological and phenological processes of oil palm and its impacts on the carbon, water and energy cycles. In most global vegetation models, oil palm is represented by generic plant functional types (PFT) without specific representation of its morphological, physical and physiological traits. This would cause biases in the subsequent simulations. In this study, we introduced a new specific PFT for oil palm in the global land surface model ORCHIDEE-MICT (v8.4.2). The specific morphology, phenology and harvest process of oil palm were implemented, and the plant carbon allocation scheme was modified to support the growth of branch, leaf and fruit component of each phytomer. A new age-specific parameterization scheme for photosynthesis, autotrophic respiration, and carbon allocation was also developed for the oil palm PFT, based on observed physiology, and was calibrated by observations. The improved model generally reproduces the leaf area index, biomass density and fruit yield during the life cycle at 14 observation sites. Photosynthesis, carbon allocation and biomass components for oil palm also agree well with observations. This explicit representation of oil palm in global land surface model offers a useful tool for understanding the ecological processes of oil palm growth and assessing the environmental impacts of oil palm plantations.

Yidi Xu et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we implemented the specific morphology, phenology and harvest process of oil palm in the global land surface model ORCHIDEE-MICT. The improved model generally reproduces the leaf area index, biomass density and fruit yield during the life cycle with observations. This explicit representation of oil palm in global land surface model offers a useful tool for understanding the ecological processes of oil palm growth and assessing the environmental impacts of oil palm plantations.
In this study, we implemented the specific morphology, phenology and harvest process of oil palm...
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