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See detailModelling carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems in Western Europe using the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model: evaluation against eddy covariance data.
Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULg; François, Louis ULg; Dury, Marie ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2015, April), 17

Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface ... [more ▼]

Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface and vegetation models at regional and global scale. In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), vegetation dynamics and carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems simulated by the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) are evaluated and validated by comparison of the model predictions with eddy covariance data. Here carbon fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RECO)) and evapotranspiration (ET) simulated with the CARAIB model are compared with the fluxes measured at several eddy covariance flux tower sites in Belgium and Western Europe, chosen from the FLUXNET global network (http://fluxnet.ornl.gov/). CARAIB is forced either with surface atmospheric variables derived from the global CRU climatology, or with in situ meteorological data. Several tree (e.g. Pinus sylvestris, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies) and grass species (e.g. Poaceae, Asteraceae) are simulated, depending on the species encountered on the studied sites. The aim of our work is to assess the model ability to reproduce the daily, seasonal and interannual variablility of carbon fluxes and the carbon dynamics of forest and grassland ecosystems in Belgium and Western Europe. [less ▲]

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See detailWheat yield sensitivity to climate change across a European transect for a large ensemble of crop models
Pirttioja, N.; Carter, Timothy; Fronzek, S. et al

in Soussana, Jean-Francois (Ed.) Proceedings of the Climate Smart Agriculture 2015 conference (2015, March)

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See detailBayesian inversions of a dynamic vegetation model at four European grassland sites
Minet, Julien ULg; Laloy, Eric; Tychon, Bernard ULg et al

in Biogeosciences (2015), 12(9), 2809--2829

Eddy covariance data from four European grassland sites are used to probabilistically invert the CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere) dynamic vegetation model (DVM) with 10 unknown parameters ... [more ▼]

Eddy covariance data from four European grassland sites are used to probabilistically invert the CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere) dynamic vegetation model (DVM) with 10 unknown parameters, using the DREAM(ZS) (DiffeRential Evolution Adaptive Metropolis) Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampler. We focus on comparing model inversions, considering both homoscedastic and heteroscedastic eddy covariance residual errors, with variances either fixed a priori or jointly inferred together with the model parameters. Agreements between measured and simulated data during calibration are comparable with previous studies, with root mean square errors (RMSEs) of simulated daily gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (RECO) and evapotranspiration (ET) ranging from 1.73 to 2.19, 1.04 to 1.56 g C m−2 day−1 and 0.50 to 1.28 mm day−1, respectively. For the calibration period, using a homoscedastic eddy covariance residual error model resulted in a better agreement between measured and modelled data than using a heteroscedastic residual error model. However, a model validation experiment showed that CARAIB models calibrated considering heteroscedastic residual errors perform better. Posterior parameter distributions derived from using a heteroscedastic model of the residuals thus appear to be more robust. This is the case even though the classical linear heteroscedastic error model assumed herein did not fully remove heteroscedasticity of the GPP residuals. Despite the fact that the calibrated model is generally capable of fitting the data within measurement errors, systematic bias in the model simulations are observed. These are likely due to model inadequacies such as shortcomings in the photosynthesis modelling. Besides the residual error treatment, differences between model parameter posterior distributions among the four grassland sites are also investigated. It is shown that the marginal distributions of the specific leaf area and characteristic mortality time parameters can be explained by site-specific ecophysiological characteristics. [less ▲]

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See detailOutcomes from the MACSUR grassland model inter-comparison with the model CARAIB
Minet, Julien ULg; Laloy, Eric; Tychon, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, October 15)

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See detailImportance des modèles de distribution de niche potentielle dans la gestion des espèces tropicales exploitées: cas des taxons du genre Guibourtia Benn
Tosso, Dji-ndé Félicien ULg; Daïnou, Kasso ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg et al

Poster (2014, September 24)

De la famille des (Fabaceae / Caesalpinioideae) et composé de 13 espèces en Afrique, le genre Guibourtia comporte des taxons à forte valeur culturelle et à forte valeur commerciale. Aujourd'hui, la ... [more ▼]

De la famille des (Fabaceae / Caesalpinioideae) et composé de 13 espèces en Afrique, le genre Guibourtia comporte des taxons à forte valeur culturelle et à forte valeur commerciale. Aujourd'hui, la pression de l'exploitation combinée aux faibles densités de ce genre, fait a priori peser d’importantes menaces sur certaines de ses populations. Un projet de recherche a donc été initié afin de mieux comprendre la structure et la diversité génétique des populations de Guibourtia, en lien avec l'exploitation forestière et les patrons de reproduction spécifiques. Un premier volet de la recherche a consisté à identifier les déterminants climatiques expliquant la distribution des espèces. Nous avons combinée des modèles statiques (Maxent et régression logistique) avec des données du modèle climatique global CNRM CM5, et sur la base de l'occurrence de ces taxons entre 1950 et 2000. Il en ressort que les espèces du genre Guibourtia sont sensibles aux facteurs précipitation (69,2 %) et amplitude thermique (74,3 %). Dans un second temps, il sera utilisé les modèles climatiques des ères géologiques passées afin d'inférer la distribution de l'espèce au cours du Quaternaire, et de faire le lien avec des analyses phylogénétiques et phylogéographiques. Il sera également possible d'évaluer la distribution future de l'espèce tenant compte des modèles d'évolution du climat. Enfin, le projet de recherche s'attèlera particulièrement aux relations phylogénétiques entre espèces morphologiquement similaires en sympatrie ou parapatrie, en caractérisant en détail les flux de gènes entre individus de ces taxons proches, ainsi que leur degré de similarité physiologique. Les résultats de l’étude in fine contribueront à proposer des stratégies de conservation et de gestion durable dans le contexte de l’exploitation forestière d’Afrique centrale et du changement climatique en cours. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the distribution of key tree species used by lion tamarins in the Brazilian Atlantic forest under a scenario of future climate change
Raghunathan, Poornima ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; François, Louis ULg et al

in Regional Environmental Change (2014)

We used three IPCC climate change scenarios (A1B, A2 and B1) in a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB), to determine the potential future distribution of 75 tree species used by two endemic primate species ... [more ▼]

We used three IPCC climate change scenarios (A1B, A2 and B1) in a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB), to determine the potential future distribution of 75 tree species used by two endemic primate species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (BAF). Habitat conservation is a vital part of strategies to protect endangered species, and this is a new approach to understanding how key plant species needed for survival of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) and golden-headed lion tamarins (L. chrysomelas) might be affected by climate change and what changes to their distribution are likely. The model accurately predicted the current distribution of BAF vegetation types, for 66 % of the individual tree species with 70 % agreement obtained for presence. In the simulation experiments for the future, 72 out of 75 tree species maintained more than 95 % of their original distribution and all species showed a range expansion. At the biome level, we note a substantial decrease in the sub-tropical forest area. There is some fragmentation of the savannah, which is encroached mostly by tropical seasonal forest. Where the current distribution shows a large sub-tropical forest biome, it has been replaced or encroached by tropical rainforest. The results suggested that the trees may benefit from an increase in temperature, if and only if soil water availability is not altered significantly, as was the case with climate simulations that were used. However, these results must be coupled with other information to maximise usefulness to conservation since BAF is already highly fragmented and subject to high anthropic pressure. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling seed dispersal and tropical forest regeneration :application to Staudtia kamerunensis in the WWF Lake Tele-Tumba Landscape in DR Congo
Coos, William ULg; Dury, Marie ULg; Trolliet, Franck ULg et al

Poster (2014, June)

Unsustainable hunting and slash-and-burn farming in tropical forests can lead to the empty forest syndrome. It is characterized by the loss of key species essential in the maintenance and regeneration of ... [more ▼]

Unsustainable hunting and slash-and-burn farming in tropical forests can lead to the empty forest syndrome. It is characterized by the loss of key species essential in the maintenance and regeneration of the forest. Indeed the main mechanism of this regeneration is seed dispersal, which for tropical trees is usually driven by animals, and the alteration of this process through a reduction of the disperser population may have serious consequences on forest composition. Computer models are powerful tools to study these processes, not only towards a better understanding of the key mechanisms controlling tropical forest regeneration, but also with the aim of optimising forest management and exploitation to reach a better equilibrium between tropical tree species and their seed dispersers. This study describes a seed dispersal module ultimately developed to analyze the regeneration of the rainforest in the WWF Lake Tele – Lake Tumba Landscape in RD Congo (BIOSERF project funded by Belgian Science Policy). The module has been developed to upgrade the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model, which is used in the BIOSERF project. Data are derived from a field study in which we analyzed seed dispersal of a common tree species (Staudtia kamerunensis) and we determined the community of its main dispersers (largely dominated by the hornbill Bycanistes albotibialis). Additional data (density of S. kamerunensis, habitat use and retention time in the digestive tract of hornbills to simulate dispersal kernel) were obtained from literature and satellite images. Different simulations were performed to represent seed rain over time and a survival rate was applied to show the regeneration. The module was able to provide a percentage of recolonization of degraded places. In the end, this result was compared to field studies, which provide close percentage of recolonization [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the future range and productivity of African tree species. Perspectives and limits
Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Dury, Marie ULg; Tosso, Dji-ndé Félicien ULg et al

Poster (2014, June)

There remains a lack of information on the future of plant species in many parts of Africa under the threads of climate change with the exception of the mountainous areas. Models are valuables tools to ... [more ▼]

There remains a lack of information on the future of plant species in many parts of Africa under the threads of climate change with the exception of the mountainous areas. Models are valuables tools to examine this problem because they permit to extrapolate basic information as simple as species occurrence coming from a restricted number of localities to the entire continent. Niche-based models, like logistic regression or MaxEnt, easily allow fitting empirical relationships between environmental variables related to climate and possibly to soil properties. They produce probabilities of occurrence for the present with good accuracy (calibration phase). Projections for the future are made by switching the explanatory data set with future conditions. These models however are limited by the fact that it is difficult to integrate physiological response to increasing CO2 air concentration. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate plant environment (soil water, light intensity at various heights, etc.) and plant physiology (transpiration, CO2 fixation, photosynthesis, respiration, carbon allocation, etc.) from climate variables, soil properties, and elevation. They could be run at various scales, from global to regional or even local scale, and simulate the growth of plant functional types (PFTs), of biological affinity groups (BAGs) or of species. A model like CARAIB is able to simulate PFTs and BAGs growth (occurrence and productivity) with rather good accuracy for Western Europe. For the future, the simulations confirm that the physiological effect of CO2 concentration change is dramatic but not easily foreseeable because it depends on overall fertility of the sites (Dury et al., iForest – Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011). From this conclusion, spatial and temporal variations of fertility would have to be introduced in modelling studies to reach more operational conclusions. Questions arising about the future of ecosystem services in tropical countries highlight particular plant species (BIOSERF project funded by the Belgian Science Policy: Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure). In this study, we model a set of 11 selected African tree species including several Congolese species with logistic regression, MaxEnt and CARAIB models. The two niche-based-models rather properly simulate the ranges obtained with the alpha-hull polygon method. CARAIB correctly simulates the range of the evergreen species but not of the deciduous trees. We examine how physiological knowledge could be use to improve the model. IN particular, we conclude that bud dormancy breaking representation has to be upgraded in the model because this process is likely to control the range of the species. It should act in combination with the specific bioclimatic constants controlling the hydrological and thermal stress and the germination. Additionally, we examine the evolution of the ranges at the 2050 horizon using one of the most recent socio-economic scenarios. [less ▲]

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See detailBayesian inference of a dynamic vegetation model for grassland
Minet, Julien ULg; Laloy, Eric; Tychon, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 02)

As a part of the MACSUR task L2.4, we probabilistically calibrated the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with the DREAMZS sampler.. CARAIB is a mechanistic ... [more ▼]

As a part of the MACSUR task L2.4, we probabilistically calibrated the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with the DREAMZS sampler.. CARAIB is a mechanistic model that calculates the carbon assimilation of the vegetation as a function of the soil and climatic conditions, and can thus be used for simulating grassland production under cutting or grazing management. Bayesian model inversion was performed at 4 grassland sites across Europe: Oensingen, CH; Grillenburg, DE; Laqueuille, FR and Monte-Bodone, IT. Four daily measured variables from these sites: the Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Evapotranspiration (ET) and Soil Water Content (SWC) were used to sample 10 parameters related to rooting depth, stomatal conductance, specific leaf area, carbon-nitrogen ratio and water stresses. The maximized likelihood function therefore involved four objectives, whereas the applied Bayesian framework allowed for assessing the so called parameter posterior probability density function (pdf), which quantifies model parameter uncertainty caused by measurement and model errors. Sampling trials were performed using merged data from all sites (all-sites-sampling) and for each site (site-specific sampling) separately. The derived posterior parameter pdfs from the all-sites sampling and site-specific sampling runs showed differences in relation with the specificities of each site. Analysis of these distributions also revealed model sensitivity to parameters conditioned on the measured data, as well as parameter correlations. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the Congo basin ecosystems with a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Trolliet, Franck ULg et al

Conference (2014, April)

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are ... [more ▼]

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are interesting alternatives to study those regions even if the lack of data often prevents sharp calibration and validation of the model projections. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate shifts in potential vegetation and its associated biogeochemical and hydrological cycles in response to climate. Initially run at the global scale, DVMs can be run at any spatial scale provided that climate and soil data are available. In the framework of the BIOSERF project (“Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure”), we use and adapt the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) to study the Congo basin vegetation dynamics. The field campaigns have notably allowed the refinement of the vegetation representation from plant functional types (PFTs) to individual species through the collection of parameters such as the specific leaf area or the leaf C:N ratio of common tropical tree species and the location of their present-day occurrences from literature and available database. Here, we test the model ability to reproduce the present spatial and temporal variations of carbon stocks (e.g. biomass, soil carbon) and fluxes (e.g. gross and net primary productivities (GPP and NPP), net ecosystem production (NEP)) as well as the observed distribution of the studied species over the Congo basin. In the lack of abundant and long-term measurements, we compare model results with time series of remote sensing products (e.g. vegetation leaf area index (LAI), GPP and NPP). Several sensitivity tests are presented: we assess consecutively the impacts of the level at which the vegetation is simulated (PFTs or species), the spatial resolution and the initial land cover (potential or human-induced). First, we show simulations over the whole Congo basin at a 0.5◦ spatial resolution. Then, we present high-resolution simulations (1 km) carried out over different areas of the Congo basin, notably the DRC part of the WWF Lake Tele – Lake Tumba Landscape. Studied in the BIOSERF project, this area is characterized by a forest-savannah mosaic but also by swamp and flooded forest. In addition, forward transient projections of the model driven with the outputs of about thirty global cli- mate models (GCMs) from the new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) will permit to outline the likely response of carbon pools to changing climate over the Congo basin during the 21th century. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the Congo basin ecosystems with a dynamic vegetation model
Dury, Marie ULg; Hambuckers, Alain ULg; Trolliet, Franck ULg et al

Poster (2014, April)

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are ... [more ▼]

The scarcity of field observations in some parts of the world makes difficult a deep understanding of some ecosystems such as humid tropical forests in Central Africa. Therefore, modelling tools are interesting alternatives to study those regions even if the lack of data often prevents sharp calibration and validation of the model projections. Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) are process-based models that simulate shifts in potential vegetation and its associated biogeochemical and hydrological cycles in response to climate. Initially run at the global scale, DVMs can be run at any spatial scale provided that climate and soil data are available. In the framework of the BIOSERF project (“Sustainability of tropical forest biodiversity and services under climate and human pressure”), we use and adapt the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) to study the Congo basin vegetation dynamics. The field campaigns have notably allowed the refinement of the vegetation representation from plant functional types (PFTs) to individual species through the collection of parameters such as the specific leaf area or the leaf C:N ratio of common tropical tree species and the location of their present-day occurrences from literature and available database. Here, we test the model ability to reproduce the present spatial and temporal variations of carbon stocks (e.g. biomass, soil carbon) and fluxes (e.g. gross and net primary productivities (GPP and NPP), net ecosystem production (NEP)) as well as the observed distribution of the studied species over the Congo basin. In the lack of abundant and long-term measurements, we compare model results with time series of remote sensing products (e.g. vegetation leaf area index (LAI), GPP and NPP). Several sensitivity tests are presented: we assess consecutively the impacts of the level at which the vegetation is simulated (PFTs or species), the spatial resolution and the initial land cover (potential or human-induced). First, we show simulations over the whole Congo basin at a 0.5◦ spatial resolution. Then, we present high-resolution simulations (1 km) carried out over different areas of the Congo basin, notably the DRC part of the WWF Lake Tele – Lake Tumba Landscape. Studied in the BIOSERF project, this area is characterized by a forest-savannah mosaic but also by swamp and flooded forest. In addition, forward transient projections of the model driven with the outputs of about thirty global cli- mate models (GCMs) from the new Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) will permit to outline the likely response of carbon pools to changing climate over the Congo basin during the 21th century. [less ▲]

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See detailExamining wheat yield sensitivity to temperature and precipitation changes for a large ensemble of crop models using impact response surfaces"
Pirttioja, N.; Fronzek, S.; Bindi, Marco et al

in Rotter, Reimund; Ewert, Frank (Eds.) Modelling climate change impacts on crop production for food security - Abstract book (2014, February)

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See detailCan a global dynamic vegetation model be used for both grassland and crop modeling at the local scale?
Minet, Julien ULg; Tychon, Bernard ULg; Jacquemin, Ingrid ULg et al

Poster (2014, February)

We report on the use of a dynamic vegetation model, CARAIB, within two modeling exercises in the framework of MACSUR. CARAIB is a physically-based, mechanistic model that calculates the carbon ... [more ▼]

We report on the use of a dynamic vegetation model, CARAIB, within two modeling exercises in the framework of MACSUR. CARAIB is a physically-based, mechanistic model that calculates the carbon assimilation of the vegetation as a function of the soil and climatic conditions. Within MACSUR, it was used in the model intercomparison exercises for grassland and crop modeling, in the LiveM 2.4 and CropM WP4 tasks, respectively. For grassland modeling, blind model runs at 11 locations were performed for various time ranges (few years). For crop modeling, a sensitivity analysis for building impact response surfaces (IRS) was performed, based on a bench of model runs at different levels of perturbation in the temperature and precipitation input data over 30 years. For grassland modeling, specific management functions accounting for the cutting or grazing of the grass were added to the model, in the framework of the MACSUR intercomparison. Initially developed for modeling the carbon dynamics of the natural vegetation, CARAIB was already adapted for crop modeling but further modifications regarding the management, i.e., yearly-dependent sowing dates, were introduced. For grassland modeling, simulation results will be further intercompared with other modeling groups, but preliminary results showed that the model could cope with the introduction of the grass cutting module. For crop modeling, building the IRS over 30 years permitted to assess the sensitivity of the model to temperature and precipitation changes. So far, the participation of CARAIB in the intercomparison exercises within MACSUR resulted in further improvements of the model by introducing new functionalities. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the Holocene migrational dynamics of Fagus sylvatica L. and Picea abies (L.) H. Karst
Lehsten, Lehsten; Dullinger, Stefan; Hülber, Karl et al

in Global Ecology and Biogeography (2014)

Aim: Vegetation dynamics and the competitive interactions involved are assumed to restrict the ability of species to migrate. But in most migration modelling approaches disturbance-driven succession and ... [more ▼]

Aim: Vegetation dynamics and the competitive interactions involved are assumed to restrict the ability of species to migrate. But in most migration modelling approaches disturbance-driven succession and competition processes are reduced to simple assumptions or are even missing. The aim of this study was to test a combination of a migration model and a dynamic vegetation model to estimate the migration of tree species controlled by climate, environment and local species dynamics such as succession and competition. Location: Europe. Methods: To estimate the effect of vegetation dynamics on the migration of European beech and Norway spruce, we developed a post-process migration tool (LPJ-CATS). This tool integrates outputs of the migration model CATS and the dynamic vegetation model LPJ-GUESS. The model LPJ-CATS relies on a linear dependency between the dispersal kernel and migration rate and is based on the assumption that competition reduces fecundity. Results: Simulating potential migration rates with the CATS model, which does not account for competition and disturbance, resulted in mean Holocene migra- tion rates of 435 ± 55 and 330 ± 95 m year−1 for the two species Picea abies and Fagus sylvatica, respectively. With LPJ-CATS, these mean migration rates were reduced to 250 ± 75 and 170 ± 60 m year−1 for spruce and beech, respectively. Moreover, LPJ-CATS simulated migration pathways of these two species that gen- erally comply well with those documented in the palaeo-records. Main conclusions: Our ‘hybrid’ modelling approach allowed for the simulation of generally realistic Holocene migration rates and pathways of the two study species on a continental scale. It suggests that competition can considerably modify spread rates, but also the magnitude of its effect depends on how close climate conditions are to the niche requirements of a particular species. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling the distribution of key tree species used by lion tamarins in the Brazilian Atlantic forest under a scenario of future climate change
Raghunathan, N.; François, Louis ULg; Huynen, Marie-Claude ULg et al

in Regional Environmental Change (2014)

We used three IPCC climate change scenarios (A1B, A2 and B1) in a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB), to determine the potential future distribution of 75 tree species used by two endemic primate species ... [more ▼]

We used three IPCC climate change scenarios (A1B, A2 and B1) in a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB), to determine the potential future distribution of 75 tree species used by two endemic primate species from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (BAF). Habitat conservation is a vital part of strategies to protect endangered species, and this is a new approach to understanding how key plant species needed for survival of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) and golden-headed lion tamarins (L. chrysomelas) might be affected by climate change and what changes to their distribution are likely. The model accurately predicted the current distribution of BAF vegetation types, for 66 % of the individual tree species with 70 % agreement obtained for presence. In the simulation experiments for the future, 72 out of 75 tree species maintained more than 95 % of their original distribution and all species showed a range expansion. At the biome level, we note a substantial decrease in the sub-tropical forest area. There is some fragmentation of the savannah, which is encroached mostly by tropical seasonal forest. Where the current distribution shows a large sub-tropical forest biome, it has been replaced or encroached by tropical rainforest. The results suggested that the trees may benefit from an increase in temperature, if and only if soil water availability is not altered significantly, as was the case with climate simulations that were used. However, these results must be coupled with other information to maximise usefulness to conservation since BAF is already highly fragmented and subject to high anthropic pressure. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. [less ▲]

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See detailSensitivity of carbonate weathering to soil CO2 production by biological activity along a temperate climate transect
Calmels, D.; Gaillardet, J.; François, Louis ULg

in Chemical Geology (2014), 390

We investigated the controls on carbonate weathering in a well-drained pure carbonate area subject to strong environmental gradients, the Jura Mountains, Western Europe. The water chemistry of sampled ... [more ▼]

We investigated the controls on carbonate weathering in a well-drained pure carbonate area subject to strong environmental gradients, the Jura Mountains, Western Europe. The water chemistry of sampled springs and resurgences is dominated by Ca2+ (87 to 96Eq% of the cationic charge) and HCO3 - (90 to 97Eq% of the anionic charge), reflecting the overwhelming imprint of calcium carbonate dissolution by atmospheric/biogenic CO2. Ca2+ concentration, which directly gives access to the amount of calcium carbonate dissolved per unit of water runoff, shows a gradual two-fold decrease (from 3000 to 1400μmol/L) along the elevation gradient (from 300 to 1200m). After discussing the possible influence of each environmental parameter on the observed water chemistry gradient, a decreasing soil pCO2 (the main source of acidity) with increasing altitude appears as the most likely explanation. As no spatial and temporal record of soil pCO2 are available for the Jura Mountains, we performed soil pCO2 modeling using the ecological and hydrological ASPECTS model that allows reconstructing carbon and water exchange fluxes between the vegetation, soil and atmosphere. Modeling results suggest that soil pCO2 decreases with altitude in response to both the change in vegetation species from deciduous-dominated forest in the lowlands to evergreen-dominated forest above 800m (responsible for 65% of the variation) and the change in climate and soil properties (responsible for 35% of the variation). Carbonate weathering would thus be strongly sensitive to the type of vegetation, which drives both temporal and spatial variations of soil carbon and water budgets. Based on field observations, we show that carbonate weathering rates are 20-30% higher under deciduous vegetation cover than under conifers (at a given water runoff value), in agreement with modeling results. Chemical denudation rates of carbonate in the Jura Mountains vary from 152 to 375t/km2/yr, corresponding to 60-150mm/ka of carbonate being removed. Carbonate weathering within the 10,000km2 of the study area accounts for an atmospheric CO2 consumption of 0.3 TgC/yr, showing that carbonate rocks have an enhanced capacity of atmospheric CO2 neutralization at least transiently. This study demonstrates that carbonate weathering is sensitive to the ecosystem dynamics, a conclusion that might be much more general, and suggests that carbonate weathering and associated CO2 consumption fluxes quickly react to any global change or land use modification. [less ▲]

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See detailImplementing agricultural land-use in the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model
François, Louis ULg; Jacquemin, Ingrid ULg; Fontaine, Corentin et al

Conference (2014)

CARAIB (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) is a state-of-the-art dynamic vegetation model with various modules dealing with (i) soil hydrology, (ii) photosynthesis/stomatal ... [more ▼]

CARAIB (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) is a state-of-the-art dynamic vegetation model with various modules dealing with (i) soil hydrology, (ii) photosynthesis/stomatal regulation, (iii) carbon allocation and biomass growth, (iv) litter/soil carbon dynamics, (v) vegetation cover dynamics, (vi) seed dispersal, and (vii) vegetation fires. Climate and atmospheric CO2 are the primary inputs. The model calculates all major water and CO2/carbon fluxes and pools. It can be run with plant functional types or species (up to 100 different species) at various spatial scales, from the municipality to country or continental levels. Within the VOTES project (Fontaine et al., Journal of Land Use Science, 2013, DOI:10.1080/1747423X.2013.786150), the model has been improved to include crops and meadows, and some modules have been written to translate model outputs into quantitative indicators of ecosystem services (e.g., evaluate crop yield from net primary productivity or calculate soil erosion from runoff, slope, grown species and various soil attributes). The model was run over an area covering four municipalities in central Belgium, where land-use is dominated by crops, meadows, housing and some forests and was introduced in the model at the land parcel level. Simulations were also performed for the future. In these simulations, CARAIB was combined with the Aporia Agent-Based Model, to project land-use changes up to 2050. This approach is currently extended within the MASC project (funded by Belgian Science Policy, BELSPO) to the whole Belgian territory (at 1 km2) and to Western Europe (at 20 km x 20 km). [less ▲]

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See detailMiddle Miocene climate and vegetation model reconstructions and their validation with the NECLIME database
François, Louis ULg; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane ULg; Utescher, Torsten et al

in Geophys. Res. Abstracts (2014), 16

The NECLIME database gathers data of the fossil flora recorded at many localities around the world at different times of the Miocene. François et al. (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology ... [more ▼]

The NECLIME database gathers data of the fossil flora recorded at many localities around the world at different times of the Miocene. François et al. (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 304, 359–378, 2011) have presented a new method for evaluating palaeoclimate model simulations from such fossil floras. In this method, palaeovegetation is simulated from climate model outputs, using a dynamic vegetation model. Model vegetation reconstruction is then compared to the vegetation cover indicated by the fossil flora record at the various localities, using a common classification of plant functional types (PFTs) in the data and the model. Here, we apply this method to test several published Middle Miocene climate simulations conducted with General Circulation Models of different complexity: (a) Planet Simulator, (b) FOAM-LMDZ4, (c) MPI-ESM, (d) CCSM3.0 and (4) CESM1.0. Corresponding palaeovegetation distributions are simulated with the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model, in which an upgraded vegetation classification involving 26 PFTs has been imple- mented. The NECLIME palaeoflora data from 154 localities distributed worldwide have been translated in terms of the presence/absence of these PFTs. A comparison of models and data is then undertaken globally and in selected regions of the world, using all available localities. The level of agreement varies among models, among PFTs and among regions. For instance, some models are able to produce tropical and subtropical PFTs in Europe consistently with the data, but the agreement for these PFTs may be much poorer in other parts of the world, such as in northeastern Eurasia. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards Participatory Integrated Valuation and Modelling of Ecosystem Services under Land-use Change
Fontaine, C.; Dendoncker, N.; De Vreese, R. et al

in Journal of Land Use Science (2014), 9

The lack of consideration for Ecosystem Services (ES) values in current decision-making is recognised as one of the main reasons leading to an intense competition and arguably unsustainable use of well ... [more ▼]

The lack of consideration for Ecosystem Services (ES) values in current decision-making is recognised as one of the main reasons leading to an intense competition and arguably unsustainable use of well-located available land. In this paper, we present a framework for the Valuation Of Terrestrial Ecosystem Services (VOTES), aiming at structuring a methodology that is applicable for valuing ES in a given area through a set of indicators that are both meaningful for local actors and scientifically constructed. Examples from a case study area in central Belgium are used to illustrate the methodology: a stepwise procedure starting with the valuation of ES at present. The valuation of the social, biophysical and economic dimensions of ES are based on current land-use patterns. Subsequently, scenarios of land-use change are used to explore potential losses (and/or gains) of ES in the future of the study area. With the VOTES framework, we aim at [1] incorporating stakeholders inputs to widen the valuation process and increase trust in policy-oriented approach; [2] integrating valuation of ES with a sustainable development stance accounting for land-use change; and [3] developing suggestions to policy-makers for integrating ES monitoring in policy developments. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Coexistence Approach--theoretical background and practical considerations of using plant fossils for climate quantification
Utescher, T.; Bruch, A. A.; Erdei, B. et al

in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2014), 410

The Coexistence Approach was established by Mosbrugger and Utescher (1997) as a plant-based method to re- construct palaeoclimate by considering recent climatic distribution ranges of the nearest living ... [more ▼]

The Coexistence Approach was established by Mosbrugger and Utescher (1997) as a plant-based method to re- construct palaeoclimate by considering recent climatic distribution ranges of the nearest living relatives of each fossil taxon. During its existence for over more than 15 years, its basics have been tested and reviewed in comparison with other terrestrial and marine climate reconstruction techniques and climate modelling data. However, some controversies remain about its underlying data or its applicability in general. In view of these controversies this paper discusses the power and limitations of the Coexistence Approach by summarising past results and new developments. We give insights into the details and problems of each step of the application from the assignment of the fossil plant to the most suitable nearest living relative, the crucial consideration of the usefulness of specific taxa towards their climatic values and the correct interpretation of the software-based suggested palaeoclimatic intervals. Furthermore, we reflect on the fundamental data inte- grated in the Coexistence Approach by explaining different concepts and usages of plant distribution information and the advantages and disadvantages of modern climatic maps. Additionally, we elaborate on the importance of continually updating the information incorporated in the database due to new findings in e.g., (palaeo-)botany, meteorology and computer technology. Finally, for a transparent and appropriate use, we give certain guidelines for future applications and emphasize to users how to carefully consider and discuss their results. We show the Coexistence Approach to be an adaptive method capable of yielding palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental information through time and space. [less ▲]

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