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Simulating Long-Term Development of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Plant Biomass, and Soil Moisture of a Temperate Grassland Ecosystem under Elevated Atmospheric CO2

1
Institute for Landscape Ecology and Resources Management, Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (iFZ), Justus Liebig University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, 35392 Giessen, Germany
2
Center for International Development and Environmental Research, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Senckenbergstraße 3, 35390 Giessen, Germany
3
Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research—Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Kreuzeckbahnstraße 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
4
Institute for Plant Ecology, Research Centre for BioSystems, Land Use and Nutrition (iFZ), Justus Liebig University Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26, 35392 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010050
Received: 18 November 2019 / Revised: 24 December 2019 / Accepted: 26 December 2019 / Published: 29 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Climate Change on Grassland Biodiversity and Productivity)
The rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have effects on the worldwide ecosystems such as an increase in biomass production as well as changing soil processes and conditions. Since this affects the ecosystem’s net balance of greenhouse gas emissions, reliable projections about the CO2 impact are required. Deterministic models can capture the interrelated biological, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes under changing CO2 concentrations if long-term observations for model testing are provided. We used 13 years of data on above-ground biomass production, soil moisture, and emissions of CO2 and N2O from the Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment (FACE) grassland experiment in Giessen, Germany. Then, the LandscapeDNDC ecosystem model was calibrated with data measured under current CO2 concentrations and validated under elevated CO2. Depending on the hydrological conditions, different CO2 effects were observed and captured well for all ecosystem variables but N2O emissions. Confidence intervals of ensemble simulations covered up to 96% of measured biomass and CO2 emission values, while soil water content was well simulated in terms of annual cycle and location-specific CO2 effects. N2O emissions under elevated CO2 could not be reproduced, presumably due to a rarely considered mineralization process of organic nitrogen, which is not yet included in LandscapeDNDC. View Full-Text
Keywords: FACE; grassland; biogeochemical ecosystem model; soil moisture; greenhouse gas emissions; plant biomass FACE; grassland; biogeochemical ecosystem model; soil moisture; greenhouse gas emissions; plant biomass
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Liebermann, R.; Breuer, L.; Houska, T.; Kraus, D.; Moser, G.; Kraft, P. Simulating Long-Term Development of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Plant Biomass, and Soil Moisture of a Temperate Grassland Ecosystem under Elevated Atmospheric CO2. Agronomy 2020, 10, 50.

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