Evaluation of modeled global carbon dynamics: analysis based on global carbon flux and above-ground biomass data
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Dynamic global vegetation models are useful tools for the simulation of carbon dynamics on regional and global scales. However, even the most validated models are usually hampered by the poor availability of global biomass data in the model validation, especially on regional/global scales. Here, taking the integrated biosphere simulator model (IBIS) as an example, we evaluated the modeled carbon dynamics, including gross primary production (GPP) and potential above-ground biomass (AGB), on the global scale. The IBIS model was constrained by both in situ GPP and plot-level AGB data collected from the literature. Independent validation showed that IBIS could reproduce GPP and evapotranspiration with acceptable accuracy at site and global levels. On the global scale, the IBIS-simulated total AGB was similar to those obtained in other studies. However, discrepancies were observed between the model-derived and observed spatial patterns of AGB for Amazonian forests. The differences among the AGB spatial patterns were mainly caused by the single-parameter set of the model used. This study showed that different meteorological inputs can also introduce substantial differences in AGB on the global scale. Further analysis showed that this difference is small compared with parameter-induced differences. The conclusions of our research highlight the necessity of considering the heterogeneity of key model physiological parameters in modeling global AGB. The research also shows that to simulate large-scale carbon dynamics, both carbon flux and AGB data are necessary to constrain the model. The main conclusions of our research will help to improve model simulations of global carbon cycles.