Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/gcb.16384
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Accuracy, realism and general applicability of European forest models
Author Mahnken, M.; Cailleret, M.; Collalti, A.; Trotta, C.; Biondo, C.; D’Andrea, E.; Dalmonech, D.; Marano, G.; Mäkelä, A.; Minunno, F.; Peltoniemi, M.; Trotsiuk, V.; Nadal‐Sala, D.; Sabaté, S.; Vallet, P.; Aussenac, R.; Cameron, D.R.; Bohn, F.J.; Grote, R.; Augustynczik, A.L.D.; Yousefpour, R.; Huber, N.; Bugmann, H.; Merganičová, K.; Merganic, J.; Valent, P.; Lasch-Born, P.; Hartig, F.; Vega del Valle, I.D.; Volkholz, J.; Gutsch, M.; Matteucci, G.; Krejza, J.; Ibrom, A.; Meesenburg, H.; Rötzer, T.; van der Maaten-Theunissen, M.; van der Maaten, E.; Reyer, C.P.O.
Source Titel Global Change Biology
Year 2022
Department CHS
Volume 28
Issue 23
Page From 6921
Page To 6943
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Data and Software links
Keywords highlight; model evaluation; gap model; process-based modeling; eddy-covariance; terrestrial carbon dynamics; model ensemble
Abstract Forest models are instrumental for understanding and projecting the impact of climate change on forests. A considerable number of forest models have been developed in the last decades. However, few systematic and comprehensive model comparisons have been performed in Europe that combine an evaluation of modelled carbon and water fluxes and forest structure. We evaluate 13 widely-used, state-of-the-art, stand-scale forest models against field measurements of forest structure and eddy-covariance data of carbon and water fluxes over multiple decades across an environmental gradient at nine typical European forest stands. We test the models’ performance in three dimensions: accuracy of local predictions (agreement of modelled and observed annual data), realism of environmental responses (agreement of modelled and observed responses of daily gross primary productivity to temperature, radiation and vapor pressure deficit) and general applicability (proportion of European tree species covered). We find that multiple models are available that excel according to our three dimensions of model performance. For the accuracy of local predictions, variables related to forest structure have lower random and systematic errors than annual carbon and water flux variables. Moreover, the multi-model ensemble mean provided overall more realistic daily productivity responses to environmental drivers across all sites than any single individual model. The general applicability of the models is high, as almost all models are currently able to cover Europe’s common tree species. We show that forest models complement each other in their response to environmental drivers and that there are several cases in which individual models outperform the model ensemble. Our framework provides a first step to capturing essential differences between forest models that go beyond the most commonly used accuracy of predictions. Overall, this study provides a point of reference for future model work aimed at predicting climate impacts and supporting climate mitigation and adaptation measures in forests.
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Mahnken, M., Cailleret, M., Collalti, A., Trotta, C., Biondo, C., D’Andrea, E., Dalmonech, D., Marano, G., Mäkelä, A., Minunno, F., Peltoniemi, M., Trotsiuk, V., Nadal‐Sala, D., Sabaté, S., Vallet, P., Aussenac, R., Cameron, D.R., Bohn, F.J., Grote, R., Augustynczik, A.L.D., Yousefpour, R., Huber, N., Bugmann, H., Merganičová, K., Merganic, J., Valent, P., Lasch-Born, P., Hartig, F., Vega del Valle, I.D., Volkholz, J., Gutsch, M., Matteucci, G., Krejza, J., Ibrom, A., Meesenburg, H., Rötzer, T., van der Maaten-Theunissen, M., van der Maaten, E., Reyer, C.P.O. (2022):
Accuracy, realism and general applicability of European forest models
Glob. Change Biol. 28 (23), 6921 - 6943 10.1111/gcb.16384