Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-287
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-287

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 15 Sep 2021

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 15 Sep 2021

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

Climate and parameter sensitivity and induced uncertainties in carbon stock projections for European forests (using LPJ-GUESS 4.0)

Johannes Oberpriller1, Christine Herschlein2, Peter Anthoni2, Almut Arneth2, Andreas Krause3, Anja Rammig3, Mats Lindeskog4, Stefan Olin4, and Florian Hartig1 Johannes Oberpriller et al.
  • 1Theoretical Ecology Lab, University of Regensburg, Universitätsstraße 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
  • 2Department Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 3Professorship for Land Surface-Atmosphere Interactions, TUM School of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Freising, Germany
  • 4Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University, Sweden

Abstract. Understanding uncertainties and sensitivities of projected ecosystem dynamics under environmental change is of immense value for research and climate change policy. Here, we analyze sensitivities (change in model outputs per unit change in inputs) and uncertainties (changes in model outputs scaled to uncertainty in inputs) of vegetation dynamics under climate change projected by a state-of-the-art dynamic vegetation model (LPJ-GUESS 4.0) across European forests addressing the effect of both model parameters and environmental drivers. We find that projected forest carbon fluxes are most sensitive to photosynthesis-, water- and mortality-related parameters, while predictive uncertainties are dominantly induced by climatic drivers, and parameters related to water and mortality. The importance of climatic drivers for predictive uncertainty increases with increasing temperature and thus, from north to south across Europe, in line with the stress-gradient hypothesis, which proposes that environmental control dominates at the harsh end of an environmental gradient. In conclusion, our study highlights the importance of climatic drivers not only as contributors to predictive uncertainty in their own right, but also as modifiers of sensitivities and thus uncertainties in other ecosystem processes.

Johannes Oberpriller et al.

Status: open (until 10 Nov 2021)

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Johannes Oberpriller et al.

Johannes Oberpriller et al.

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Short summary
Understanding uncertainties of projected ecosystem dynamics under environmental change is of immense value for research and climate change policy. Here, we analyze these across European forests. We find that uncertainties are dominantly induced by parameters related to water and mortality and climate with increasing importance of climate from north to south. These results highlight that climate not only contributes uncertainty, but also modifies uncertainties in other ecosystem processes.