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Volume 11, issue 7 | Copyright
Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 2789-2812, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-11-2789-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 12 Jul 2018

Model description paper | 12 Jul 2018

Implementing the nitrogen cycle into the dynamic global vegetation, hydrology, and crop growth model LPJmL (version 5.0)

Werner von Bloh1, Sibyll Schaphoff1, Christoph Müller1, Susanne Rolinski1, Katharina Waha1,2, and Sönke Zaehle3 Werner von Bloh et al.
  • 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Member of the Leibniz Association, P.O. Box 60 12 03, 14412 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2CSIRO Agriculture & Food, 306 Carmody Rd, St. Lucia QLD 4067, Australia
  • 3Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, P.O. Box 60 01 64, 07701 Jena, Germany

Abstract. The well-established dynamical global vegetation, hydrology, and crop growth model LPJmL is extended with a terrestrial nitrogen cycle to account for nutrient limitations. In particular, processes of soil nitrogen dynamics, plant uptake, nitrogen allocation, response of photosynthesis and maintenance respiration to varying nitrogen concentrations in plant organs, and agricultural nitrogen management are included in the model. All new model features are described in full detail and the results of a global simulation of the historic past (1901–2009) are presented for evaluation of the model performance. We find that the implementation of nitrogen limitation significantly improves the simulation of global patterns of crop productivity. Regional differences in crop productivity, which had to be calibrated via a scaling of the maximum leaf area index, can now largely be reproduced by the model, except for regions where fertilizer inputs and climate conditions are not the yield-limiting factors. Furthermore, it can be shown that land use has a strong influence on nitrogen losses, increasing leaching by 93%.

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The dynamics of the terrestrial carbon cycle are of central importance for Earth system science. Nutrient limitations, especially from nitrogen, are important constraints on vegetation growth and the terrestrial carbon cycle. We extended the well-established global vegetation, hydrology, and crop model LPJmL with a nitrogen cycle. We find significant improvement in global patterns of crop productivity. Regional differences in crop productivity can now be largely reproduced by the model.
The dynamics of the terrestrial carbon cycle are of central importance for Earth system science....
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