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Title: Challenging terrestrial biosphere models with data from the long-term multifactor Prairie Heating and CO 2 enrichment experiment

Multi-factor experiments are often advocated as important for advancing terrestrial biosphere models (TBMs), yet to date such models have only been tested against single-factor experiments. We applied 10 TBMs to the multi-factor Prairie Heating and CO 2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment in Wyoming, USA. Our goals were to investigate how multi-factor experiments can be used to constrain models, and to identify a road map for model improvement. We found models performed poorly in ambient conditions; there was a wide spread in simulated above-ground net primary productivity (range: 31-390 g C m -2 yr -1). Comparison with data highlighted model failures particularly in respect to carbon allocation, phenology, and the impact of water stress on phenology. Performance against single-factors was also relatively poor. In addition, similar responses were predicted for different reasons across models: there were large differences among models in sensitivity to water stress and, among the nitrogen cycle models, nitrogen availability during the experiment. Models were also unable to capture observed treatment effects on phenology: they over-estimated the effect of warming on leaf onset and did not allow CO 2-induced water savings to extend growing season length. Observed interactive (CO 2 x warming) treatment effects were subtle and contingent onmore » water stress, phenology and species composition. Since the models did not correctly represent these processes under ambient and single-factor conditions, little extra information was gained by comparing model predictions against interactive responses. Finally, we outline a series of key areas in which this and future experiments could be used to improve model predictions of grassland responses to global change.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [9] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ;  [2] ;  [15] ; ORCiD logo [16] more »;  [2] ;  [17] ;  [18] ;  [3] « less
  1. Macquarie Univ., North Ryde, NSW (Australia)
  2. Western Sydney Univ., Penrith, NSW (Australia)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena (Germany)
  5. Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  6. Univ. Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette (France)
  7. Univ. of Exeter, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  8. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt (Germany); Goethe-Univ., Frankfurt (Germany)
  9. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL (United States)
  10. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
  11. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, VIC (Australia)
  12. CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, VIC (Australia)
  13. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt (Germany)
  14. East China Normal Univ., Shanghai (China)
  15. United States Dept. of Agriculture, Fort Collins, CO (United States)
  16. Lancaster Univ., Lancaster (United Kingdom)
  17. The Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW (Australia)
  18. Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; SC0016323; NNX14AD94G; 647204; AGS 12-43071
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; carbon dioxide; FACE; grassland; PHACE; temperature; models
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1373820