Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications

Mercado, Lina M.; Huntingford, Chris; Gash, John H.C.; Cox, Peter M.; Jogireddy, Venkata. 2007 Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications. Tellus B, 59 (3). 553-565.

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The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) (which is based on Met Office Surface Exchange Scheme MOSES), the land surface scheme of the Hadley Centre General Circulation Models (GCM) has been improved to contain an explicit description of light interception for different canopy levels, which consequently leads to a multilayer approach to scaling from leaf to canopy level photosynthesis. We test the improved JULES model at a site in the Amazonian rainforest by comparing against measurements of vertical profiles of radiation through the canopy, eddy covariance measurements of carbon and energy fluxes, and also measurements of carbon isotopic fractionation from top canopy leaves. Overall, the new light interception formulation improves modelled photosynthetic carbon uptake compared to the standard big leaf approach used in the original JULES formulation. Additional model improvement was not significant when incorporating more realistic vertical variation of photosynthetic capacity. Even with the improved representation of radiation interception, JULES simulations of net carbon uptake underestimate eddy covariance measurements by 14%. This discrepancy can be removed by either increasing the photosynthetic capacity throughout the canopy or by explicitly including light inhibition of leaf respiration. Along with published evidence of such inhibition of leaf respiration, our study suggests this effect should be considered for inclusion in other GCMs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Harding (to July 2011)
ISSN: 0280-6509
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 22 Jan 2008 10:00 +0 (UTC)

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