492 New Era of Satellite Chlorophyll Fluorescence and Soil Moisture Observations Leads to Advances in the Predictive Understanding of Global Terrestrial Coupled Carbon–Water Cycles

Tuesday, 9 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Bo Qiu, Nanjing Univ., Nanjing, China; and Y. Xue, J. B. Fisher, and W. Guo

The terrestrial carbon cycle and water cycle are coupled through a multitude of connected processes among soil, roots, leaves, and the atmosphere. The strength and sensitivity of these couplings are not yet well known at the global scale, which contributes to uncertainty in predicting the terrestrial water and carbon budgets. For the first time, we now have synchronous, high fidelity, global-scale satellite observations of critical terrestrial carbon and water cycle components: sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) and soil moisture. We used these observations within the framework of a well-established global terrestrial biosphere model (Simplified Simple Biosphere Model version 2.0, SSiB2) to investigate carbon-water coupling processes. We updated SSiB2 to include a mechanistic representation of SIF and tested the sensitivity of model parameters to improve the simulation of both SIF and soil moisture with the ultimate objective of improving the first-order terrestrial carbon component, gross primary production (GPP). Although several vegetation parameters, such as leaf area index (LAI) and green leaf fraction, improved the simulated SIF, and several soil parameters, such as hydraulic conductivity, improved simulated soil moisture, their effects were mainly limited to their respective cycles. One parameter emerged as the key coupler between the carbon and water cycles: the wilting point. Updates to the wilting point significantly improved the simulations for both soil moisture and SIF, as well as GPP. This study demonstrates the value of synchronous global measurements of the terrestrial carbon and water cycles in improving the understanding of coupled carbon-water cycles.
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