Abstract. We describe an approach for developing a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (DGVM) that accounts for transient changes in vegetation distribution over a decadal time scale. The DGVM structure is based on a linkage between an equilibrium global vegetation model and smaller scale ecosystem dynamics modules that simulate the rate of vegetation change. Vegetation change is classified into four basic types, based largely on the projected change in above‐ground biomass of the vegetation. These four types of change are: (1) dieback of forest, shrubland or grassland; (2) successional replacement within forest, shrubland or grassland; (3) invasion of forest, shrubland or grassland; (4) change in tree/grass ratio. We then propose an approach in which the appropriate ecosystem dynamics module for each type of change is applied and the grid cells of the global model updated accordingly. An approach for accounting for fire, as an example of a disturbance which may strongly influence the rate and spatial pattern of forest dieback, is incorporated. We also discuss data needs for the development, calibration and validation of the model.
Journal of Vegetation Science – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1996
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