A roadmap for improving the representation of photosynthesis in Earth system models

Alistair Rogers, Belinda E. Medlyn, Jeffrey S. Dukes, Gordon Bonan, Susanne von Caemmerer, Michael C. Dietze, Jens Kattge, Andrew D.B. Leakey, Lina M. Mercado, Ülo Niinemets, I. Colin Prentice, Shawn P. Serbin, Stephen Sitch, Danielle A. Way, Sönke Zaehle

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Accurate representation of photosynthesis in terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs) is essential for robust projections of global change. However, current representations vary markedly between TBMs, contributing uncertainty to projections of global carbon fluxes. Here we compared the representation of photosynthesis in seven TBMs by examining leaf and canopy level responses of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation (A) to key environmental variables: light, temperature, CO2 concentration, vapor pressure deficit and soil water content. We identified research areas where limited process knowledge prevents inclusion of physiological phenomena in current TBMs and research areas where data are urgently needed for model parameterization or evaluation. We provide a roadmap for new science needed to improve the representation of photosynthesis in the next generation of terrestrial biosphere and Earth system models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-42
Number of pages21
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume213
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • carbon dioxide CO
  • light
  • soil water content
  • stomatal conductance
  • temperature
  • terrestrial biosphere models
  • vapor pressure deficit (VPD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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  • Cite this

    Rogers, A., Medlyn, B. E., Dukes, J. S., Bonan, G., von Caemmerer, S., Dietze, M. C., Kattge, J., Leakey, A. D. B., Mercado, L. M., Niinemets, Ü., Prentice, I. C., Serbin, S. P., Sitch, S., Way, D. A., & Zaehle, S. (2017). A roadmap for improving the representation of photosynthesis in Earth system models. New Phytologist, 213(1), 22-42. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14283