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Evaluation of Modeled Carbon Fluxes for a Slash Pine Ecosystem: SPM2 Simulations Compared to Eddy Flux Measurements

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A process-based model (SPM2) was developed to simulate net hourly exchanges of carbon for slash pine (Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) ecosystems in north-central Florida, and simulated values were compared to those obtained using eddy covariance measurements above the canopy. The SPM2 simulated relatively low hourly rates of net carbon exchange at high irradiance during the day, especially during the month of May. This discrepancy contributed the most to differences between the two approaches, and suggests that the model underestimates the maximum rate of leaf-level net photosynthesis during the period of rapid growth in the spring. The SPM2 also simulated lower net carbon release during the nighttime across the range of air temperatures, relative to eddy covariance measurements. As a result of these discrepancies, accumulated daytime and nighttime sums were quite different between the two approaches. However, once results were aggregated over 24 hr, differences between simulations and measurements were insignificant at all but the highest and lowest daily net carbon gain values. Annual estimates for 1996 were similar: 693, 719, and 745 g C m-2 yr-1 for the SPM2 model, eddy covariance measurements and mass balance measurements, respectively. This model evaluation has lead to specific research questions for guiding further model development. FOR. Sci. 47(1):52–59.

Keywords: Florida; Simulation models; carbon dynamics; eddy covariance; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; slash pine

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: SFRC University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, Fax: (352) 846-1277 2: University of Miami, Miami, FL, 33149, 3: SFRC University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611,

Publication date: February 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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