BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Simulating the Spatial Variation of Carbon Processes at a Critical Zone Observatory
Published: June 02, 2018
Posted: December 27, 2018

Development and testing of a spatially distributed land surface hydrologic biogeochemistry model with nitrogen transport.

The Science
A distributed land surface hydrologic biogeochemistry model with nitrogen transport processes is developed and tested at the Shale Hills watershed. The model is able to represent the spatial variations in terrestrial carbon processes and suggests that tree growth at the Shale Hills watershed is nitrogen limited.

The Impact
The coupled Flux-PIHM-BGC model provides an important tool to study spatial variations in terrestrial carbon and nitrogen processes and their interactions with environmental factors, and to predict the spatial structure of the responses of ecosystems to climate change.

Summary
A spatially distributed land surface hydrologic biogeochemical model with nitrogen transport, Flux-PIHM-BGC, has been developed by scientists at Pennsylvania State University by coupling a  one-dimensional (1D) mechanistic biogeochemical model, Biome-BGC (BBGC), with a spatially distributed land surface hydrologic model, Flux-PIHM, and adding an advection dominated nitrogen transport module. In the coupled Flux-PIHM-BGC model, each Flux-PIHM model grid couples a 1D BBGC model, while nitrogen is transported among model grids via surface and subsurface water flow. The coupled Flux-PIHM-BGC model has been implemented at the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory. The model-predicted aboveground vegetation carbon and soil carbon distributions generally agree with the macro patterns observed within the watershed, although the model underestimates the spatial variability. Model results suggest that the spatial pattern of aboveground carbon is controlled by the distribution of soil mineral nitrogen. A Flux-PIHM-BGC simulation without the nitrogen transport module is also executed. The model without nitrogen transport fails in predicting the spatial patterns of vegetation carbon, indicating the importance of having a nitrogen transport module in spatially distributed ecohydrologic modeling.

Contacts
BER Program Manager
Daniel Stover
Terrestrial Ecosystem System, SC-23.1
Daniel.Stover@science.doe.gov (301-903-0289)

Principal Investigator
David Eissenstat
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, Pennsylvania 16802
dme9@psu.edu (814)863-3371

Funding
This work is supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, under Award Number DE-SC0012003, and facilitated by the National Science Foundation Critical Zone Observatory program grants to CJD (EAR 07- 25019) and SLB (EAR 12-39285 and EAR 13-31726).

Publications
Shi, Y., Eissenstat, D. M., He, Y., & Davis, D. J. “Using a spatially-distributed hydrologic biogeochemistry model with a nitrogen transport module to study the spatial variation of carbon processes in a Critical Zone Observatory.” Ecological Modelling 380, 8–21 (2018). [DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2018.04.007].

Related Links
Link to the Flux-PIHM-BGC repository: https://github.com/PSUmodeling/MM-PIHM

 

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Division: SC-33 BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco
Objectives

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)