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Original Research Papers

Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications

Authors:

Lina M. Mercado ,

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford. OX10 8BB, GB
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Chris Huntingford,

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford. OX10 8BB, GB
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John H. C. Gash,

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford. OX10 8BB, GB
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Peter M. Cox,

University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, GB
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Venkata Jogireddy

Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, Met Office, Exeter. EX1 3PB, GB
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Abstract

The Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES) (which is based on MetOffice Surface Exchange Scheme MOSES), the land surface scheme of the Hadley Centre General Circulation Models (GCM) has been improved to contain an explicit description of light interception for different canopy levels, which consequently leads to a multilayer approach to scaling from leaf to canopy level photosynthesis. We test the improved JULES model at a site in the Amazonian rainforest by comparing against measurements of vertical profiles of radiation through the canopy, eddy covariance measurements of carbon and energy fluxes, and also measurements of carbon isotopic fractionation from top canopy leaves.

Overall, the new light interception formulation improves modelled photosynthetic carbon uptake compared to the standard big leaf approach used in the original JULES formulation. Additional model improvement was not significant when incorporating more realistic vertical variation of photosynthetic capacity. Even with the improved representation of radiation interception, JULES simulations of net carbon uptake underestimate eddy covariance measurements by 14%. This discrepancy can be removed by either increasing the photosynthetic capacity throughout the canopy or by explicitly including light inhibition of leaf respiration. Along with published evidence of such inhibition of leaf respiration, our study suggests this effect should be considered for inclusion in other GCMs.

How to Cite: Mercado, L.M., Huntingford, C., Gash, J.H.C., Cox, P.M. and Jogireddy, V., 2007. Improving the representation of radiation interception and photosynthesis for climate model applications. Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 59(3), pp.553–565. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00256.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2007
 Accepted on 20 Nov 2006            Submitted on 25 Apr 2006

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