Ecosystem Process Models

There are numerous ecosystem process models, and each has its strength. The University of Wisconsin has assisted in the development of the original forest ecosystem process model Forest-BGC (Running and Coughlan 1988, Running and Gower 1991). Forest-BGC was modified to simulate the carbon, water, and nitrogen cycles of all the major biomes of the world (Running and Hunt 1993).

This version of Biome-BGC supports multiple, interacting vegetation types (Bond-Lamberty et al., 2007a), improved wetland dynamics (Bond-Lamberty et al., 2005), and simulation at scales from a single point up to areas of 106 km2 (Bond-Lamberty et al., 2007b). It reliably simulates observed changes in leaf area, net primary production and carbon stocks for a boreal forest wildfire chronosequence and natural and harvested cold temperate forests (Ahl et al., 2005), and is useful for modeling the dynamics of mixed-species stands and ecological succession across large landscapes. Biome-BGC has been used to simulate the effects of these types of disturbance on the carbon and water budgets of forests (Bond-Lamberty et al. 2007b, Bond-Lamberty et al. 2009).