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Competition Between Plant Functional Types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (Ctem) V. 2.0 : Volume 8, Issue 6 (24/06/2015)

By Melton, J. R.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004009910
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 98
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Competition Between Plant Functional Types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (Ctem) V. 2.0 : Volume 8, Issue 6 (24/06/2015)  
Author: Melton, J. R.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Geoscientific, Model
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Arora, V. K., & Melton, J. R. (2015). Competition Between Plant Functional Types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (Ctem) V. 2.0 : Volume 8, Issue 6 (24/06/2015). Retrieved from

Description: Climate Processes Section, Environment Canada, Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2, Canada. The Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) is the interactive vegetation component in the Earth system model of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. CTEM models land–atmosphere exchange of CO2 through the response of carbon in living vegetation, and dead litter and soil pools, to changes in weather and climate at timescales of days to centuries. Version 1.0 of CTEM uses prescribed fractional coverage of plant functional types (PFTs) although, in reality, vegetation cover continually adapts to changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and anthropogenic forcing. Changes in the spatial distribution of vegetation occur on timescales of years to centuries as vegetation distributions inherently have inertia. Here, we present version 2.0 of CTEM which includes a representation of competition between PFTs based on a modified version of the Lotka–Volterra (L–V) predator–prey equations. Our approach is used to dynamically simulate the fractional coverage of CTEM's seven natural, non-crop PFTs which are then compared with available observation-based estimates. Results from CTEM v. 2.0 show the model is able to represent the broad spatial distributions of its seven PFTs at the global scale. However, differences remain between modelled and observation-based fractional coverages of PFTs since representing the multitude of plant species globally, with just seven non-crop PFTs, only captures the large scale climatic controls on PFT distributions. As expected, PFTs that exist in climate niches are difficult to represent either due to the coarse spatial resolution of the model, and the corresponding driving climate, or the limited number of PFTs used. We also simulate the fractional coverages of PFTs using unmodified L–V equations to illustrate its limitations. The geographic and zonal distributions of primary terrestrial carbon pools and fluxes from the versions of CTEM that use prescribed and dynamically simulated fractional coverage of PFTs compare reasonably well with each other and observation-based estimates. The parametrization of competition between PFTs in CTEM v. 2.0 based on the modified L–V equations behaves in a reasonably realistic manner and yields a tool with which to investigate the changes in spatial distribution of vegetation in response to future changes in climate.

Competition between plant functional types in the Canadian Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (CTEM) v. 2.0

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