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Journal of Arid Land  2013, Vol. 5 Issue (1): 102-117    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0146-2
Research Articles     
A spatial-explicit dynamic vegetation model that couples carbon, water, and nitrogen processes for arid and semi-arid ecosystems
Chi ZHANG1, ChaoFan LI1,2, Xi CHEN1, GePing LUO1, LongHui LI1, XiaoYu LI1, Yan YAN1,2, Hua SHAO1
1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China;
2 University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
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Abstract  Arid and semiarid ecosystems, or dryland, are important to global biogeochemical cycles. Dryland’s community structure and vegetation dynamics as well as biogeochemical cycles are sensitive to changes in climate and atmospheric composition. Vegetation dynamic models has been applied in global change studies, but the com-plex interactions among the carbon (C), water, and nitrogen (N) cycles have not been adequately addressed in the current models. In this study, a process-based vegetation dynamic model was developed to study the responses of dryland ecosystems to environmental changes, emphasizing on the interactions among the C, water, and N proc-esses. To address the interactions between the C and water processes, it not only considers the effects of annual precipitation on vegetation distribution and soil moisture on organic matter (SOM) decomposition, but also explicitly models root competition for water and the water compensation processes. To address the interactions between C and N processes, it models the soil inorganic mater processes, such as N mineralization/immobilization, denitrifica-tion/nitrification, and N leaching, as well as the root competition for soil N. The model was parameterized for major plant functional types and evaluated against field observations.

Key wordsPopulus euphratica Oliv.      stable carbon isotopic composition      stomatal density      specific leaf area      groundwater table     
Received: 15 August 2012      Published: 06 March 2013

The International Sci-ence & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2010 DFA92720-10), and the “Hundred Talents Program” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y174131001). The study was also supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB825105).

Corresponding Authors: Chi ZHANG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Chi ZHANG, ChaoFan LI, Xi CHEN, GePing LUO, LongHui LI, XiaoYu LI, Yan YAN, Hua SHAO. A spatial-explicit dynamic vegetation model that couples carbon, water, and nitrogen processes for arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Journal of Arid Land, 2013, 5(1): 102-117.

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