Climatic Change

, Volume 87, Issue 1–2, pp 75–89 | Cite as

Sensitivity of an ecosystem model to hydrology and temperature

  • Annett WolfEmail author
  • Eleanor Blyth
  • Richard Harding
  • Daniela Jacob
  • Elke Keup-Thiel
  • Holger Goettel
  • Terry Callaghan
Open Access


We tested the sensitivity of a dynamic ecosystem model (LPJ-GUESS) to the representation of soil moisture and soil temperature and to uncertainties in the prediction of precipitation and air temperature. We linked the ecosystem model with an advanced hydrological model (JULES) and used its soil moisture and soil temperature as input into the ecosystem model. We analysed these sensitivities along a latitudinal gradient in northern Russia. Differences in soil temperature and soil moisture had only little influence on the vegetation carbon fluxes, whereas the soil carbon fluxes were very sensitive to the JULES soil estimations. The sensitivity changed with latitude, showing stronger influence in the more northern grid cell. The sensitivity of modelled responses of both soil carbon fluxes and vegetation carbon fluxes to uncertainties in soil temperature were high, as both soil and vegetation carbon fluxes were strongly impacted. In contrast, uncertainties in the estimation of the amount of precipitation had little influence on the soil or vegetation carbon fluxes. The high sensitivity of soil respiration to soil temperature and moisture suggests that we should strive for a better understanding and representation of soil processes in ecosystem models to improve the reliability of predictions of future ecosystem changes.


Soil Temperature Soil Respiration Carbon Flux Ecosystem Model Glob Chang Biol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annett Wolf
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Eleanor Blyth
    • 3
  • Richard Harding
    • 3
  • Daniela Jacob
    • 4
  • Elke Keup-Thiel
    • 4
  • Holger Goettel
    • 4
  • Terry Callaghan
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem AnalysesLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Department of Environmental ScienceZürichSwitzerland
  3. 3.Centre for Ecology and HydrologyWallingfordUK
  4. 4.Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie (MPI-M)HamburgGermany
  5. 5.Abisko Scientific Research StationAbiskoSweden
  6. 6.Department of Animal and Plant SciencesUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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