We report the development of a new spatially explicit individual-based Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (SEIB–DGVM), the first DGVM that can simulate the local interactions among individual trees within a spatially explicit virtual forest. In the model, a sample plot is placed at each grid box, and then the growth, competition, and decay of each individual tree within each plot is calculated by considering the environmental conditions for that tree as it relates to the trees that surround it. Based on these parameters only, the model simulated time lags between climate change and vegetation change. This time lags elongated when original biome was forest, because existing trees prevent newly establish trees from receiving enough sunlight and space to quickly replace the original vegetation. This time lags also elongated when horizontal heterogeneity of sunlight distribution was ignored, indicating the potential importance of horizontal heterogeneity for predicting transitional behavior of vegetation under changing climate. On a local scale, the model reproduced climate zone-specific patterns of succession, carbon dynamics, and water flux, although on a global scale, simulations were not always in agreement with observations. Because the SEIB–DGVM was formulated to the scale at which field biologists work, the measurements of relevant parameters and data comparisons are relatively straightforward, and the model should enable more robust modeling of terrestrial ecosystems.
Ecological Modelling – Elsevier
Published: Jan 24, 2007
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