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Schematic of Phased Development of Multiscale Modeling Based on an Ecosystem of Interoperable Components

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The spatial scale (vertical) is subdivided into the virtual plant-soil system, virtual plot, and virtual watershed. In the first phase (~3 years), the focus is on the collection and design of components for existing and new mechanistic models at each scale. Components include shoot and root models of plant function, subsurface hydrology (SSH), surface hydrology (SH), reactive transport (RT), microbial genomics–informed RT (mgRT), land-surface processes (LSP), and dynamic vegetation (DV). Phase 2 (~5 years) marks the initial prototype of virtual laboratory capabilities at each scale with increasing runtime configurability and use of upscaled or high-fidelity subgrid models (red and black dashed arrows). These models include environmental response (ER) plant models and multiscale mechanistic models encompassing genetic to organismic scales (M3). Finally, in Phase 3 (~10 years) the virtual capabilities reach full maturity with flexible, multiscale coupling and advanced support for data integration and analysis workflows, including integration of the plant microbiome (MB).

Credit or Source: Office of Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.


U.S. DOE. 2015. Building Virtual Ecosystems: Computational Challenges for Mechanistic Modeling of Terrestrial Environments; Workshop Report, DOE/SC-0171, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. (p. 24) (website)

Prepared by the Biological and Environmental Research Information System, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and