An improved process-oriented hydro-biogeochemical model for simulating dynamic fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide in alpine ecosystems with seasonally frozen soils

Zhang, Wei; Yao, Zhisheng; Li, Siqi; Zheng, Xunhua; Zhang, Han; Ma, Lei; Wang, Kai; Wang, Rui; Liu, Chunyan; Han, Shenghui; Deng, Jia; Li, Yong

The hydro-biogeochemical model Catchment Nutrient Management Model – DeNitrification-DeComposition (CNMM-DNDC) was established to simultaneously quantify ecosystem productivity and losses of nitrogen and carbon at the site or catchment scale. As a process-oriented model, this model is expected to be universally applied to different climate zones, soils, land uses and field management practices. This study is one of many efforts to fulfill such an expectation, which was performed to improve the CNMM-DNDC by incorporating a physically based soil thermal module to simulate the soil thermal regime in the presence of freeze–thaw cycles. The modified model was validated with simultaneous field observations in three typical alpine ecosystems (wetlands, meadows and forests) within a catchment located in seasonally frozen regions of the eastern Tibetan Plateau, including observations of soil profile temperature, topsoil moisture, and fluxes of methane (CHinline-formula4) and nitrous oxide (Ninline-formula2O). The validation showed that the modified CNMM-DNDC was able to simulate the observed seasonal dynamics and magnitudes of the variables in the three typical alpine ecosystems, with index-of-agreement values of 0.91–1.00, 0.49–0.83, 0.57–0.88 and 0.26–0.47, respectively. Consistent with the emissions determined from the field observations, the simulated aggregate emissions of CHinline-formula4 and Ninline-formula2O were highest for the wetland among three alpine ecosystems, which were dominated by the CHinline-formula4 emissions. This study indicates the possibility for utilizing the process-oriented model CNMM-DNDC to predict hydro-biogeochemical processes, as well as related gas emissions, in seasonally frozen regions. As the original CNMM-DNDC was previously validated in some unfrozen regions, the modified CNMM-DNDC could be potentially applied to estimate the emissions of CHinline-formula4 and Ninline-formula2O from various ecosystems under different climate zones at the site or catchment scale.

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Zhang, Wei / Yao, Zhisheng / Li, Siqi / et al: An improved process-oriented hydro-biogeochemical model for simulating dynamic fluxes of methane and nitrous oxide in alpine ecosystems with seasonally frozen soils. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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