Version 1 (modified by yyao, 6 months ago) (diff)




Extreme drought events in Amazon forests are expected to become more frequent and more intense with climate change, threatening ecosystem function and carbon balance. Yet large uncertainties exist on the resilience of this ecosystem to drought. A better quantification of tree hydraulics and mortality processes is needed to anticipate future drought effects on Amazon forests. Most state-of-the-art dynamic global vegetation models are relatively poor in their mechanistic description of these complex processes. Here, we implement a mechanistic plant hydraulic module within the ORCHIDEE-CAN-NHA r7236 land surface model to simulate the percentage loss of conductance (PLC) and changes in water storage among organs via a representation of the water potentials and vertical water flows along the continuum from soil to roots, stems and leaves. The model was evaluated against observed seasonal variability in stand-scale sap flow, soil moisture and productivity under both control and drought setups at the Caxiuanã throughfall exclusion field experiment in eastern Amazonia between 2001 and 2008. A relationship between PLC and tree mortality is built in the model from two empirical parameters, the cumulated drought exposure duration that triggers mortality, and the mortality fraction in each day exceeding the exposure. Our model captures the large biomass drop in the year 2005 observed four years after throughfall reduction, and produces comparable annual tree mortality rates with observation over the study period. Our hydraulic architecture module provides promising avenues for future research in assimilating experimental data to parameterize mortality due to drought-induced xylem dysfunction. We also highlight that species-based (isohydric or anisohydric) hydraulic traits should be further tested to generalize the model performance in predicting the drought risks.

Code access


DOI [under request]
Creator Yitong Yao
Affiliation LSCE
Publisher Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL)
PublicationYear 2021
ResourceType Software
Rights This software is distributed under the CeCILL license
Subject Plant hydraulic architecture, land surface model, terrestrial water cycle
DataManager Karim Ramage (IPSL)
DataCurator Josefine Ghattas (IPSL)
ContactPerson Yitong Yao (LSCE)
FundingReference ANR CLAND Convergence Institute; Make Our Planet Great Again Scholarship