A dynamic organic soil biogeochemical model for simulating the effects of wildfire on soil environmental conditions and carbon dynamics of black spruce forests

Shuhua Yi, A. David McGuire, Eric Kasischke, Jennifer Harden, Kristen Manies, Michelle MacK, Merritt Turetsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ecosystem models have not comprehensively considered how interactions among fire disturbance, soil environmental conditions, and biogeochemical processes affect ecosystem dynamics in boreal forest ecosystems. In this study, we implemented a dynamic organic soil structure in the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (DOS-TEM) to investigate the effects of fire on soil temperature, moisture, and ecosystem carbon dynamics. DOS-TEM consists of environmental, ecological, disturbance effects, and dynamic organic soil modules. Changes in organic layer thickness are computed from calculated changes in carbon pools following fire and during stand succession. DOS-TEM was parameterized based on studies reported in the literature and evaluated independently at sites in interior Alaska. This evaluation reveals that (1) DOS-TEM is capable of accurately simulating the thickness and carbon content of organic soils; and (2) without the dynamic linkage between soil organic thickness and carbon content, the model overestimates soil carbon in deep mineral soil horizons of dry black spruce ecosystems of interior Alaska. Sensitivity tests were performed to investigate issues related to spatial heterogeneity of carbon dynamics including soil drainage and fire frequency. Results show that both soil drainage and fire frequency are important in the carbon dynamics simulated by DOS-TEM, and should be considered in spatial applications of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberG04015
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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