UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Validation of the Integrated Biosphere Simulator over Canadian deciduous and coniferous boreal forest stands Delire, Christine; Price, David T.; El Maayar, Mustapha; Black, T. Andrew; Foley, Jonathan A.; Bessemoulin, Pierre


Data collected during the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) at four different forest stands were used to test surface energy and carbon fluxes simulated by the Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS). These stands included deciduous and conifer species and were located in both the BOREAS northern and southern study areas. Two runs were made: one using the original IBIS model and the other using a version modified to consider an organic soil layer (OSL) covering the mineral soil surface. Results show that the inclusion of the OSL substantially improved the simulation of soil heat flux, as well as of temperature and moisture in the topmost soil layer. Simulations show that latent and sensible heat fluxes, and net ecosystem exchange of carbon, were not affected appreciably by the presence of a thin (10 cm or less) OSL covering the forest floor. With a thick (50 cm) OSL, however, simulation of latent heat flux and net ecosystem exchange of carbon was substantially improved. Consideration of the OSL in the model also led to better simulation of the onsets of soil thawing. Correct estimation of heat diffusion to deep soil through thick organic layers requires a parameterization that accounts for the state of the organic material decomposition. Simulations presented here also show the necessity for using detailed information on soil physical properties for better evaluation of model performance. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2011 American Geophysical Union.

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