Evaluation of simulated biomass damage in forest ecosystems induced by ozone against observation-based estimates

Martina Franz, Rocio Alonso, Almut Arneth, Patrick Bueker, Susana Elvira, Giacomo Gerosa, Lisa Dianne Emberson, Zhaozhong Feng, Didier Le Thiec, Riccardo Marzuoli, Elina Oksanen, Johan Uddling, Matthew Wilkinson, Sonke Zaehle

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Regional estimates of the effects of ozone pollution on forest growth depend on the availability of reliable damage functions that estimate a representative ecosystem response to ozone exposure. A number of such damage functions for forest tree species and forest functional types have recently been published and subsequently applied in terrestrial biosphere models to estimate regional or global effects of ozone on forest tree productivity and carbon storage in the living plant biomass. The resulting impacts estimated by these biosphere models show large uncertainty in the magnitude of ozone effects predicted. To understand the role that these damage functions play in determining the variability of estimated ozone impacts, we use the O-CN biosphere model to provide a standardised modelling framework. We test four published damage functions describing the leaf-level, photosynthetic response to ozone exposure (targeting Vcmax or net photosynthesis) in terms of their simulated whole-tree biomass responses against field data from 23 ozone filtration/fumigation experiments conducted with European tree species at sites across Europe with a range of climatic conditions. Our results show that none of these previously published damage functions lead to simulated whole-tree biomass reductions in agreement with the observed dose-response relationships derived from these field experiments, and instead lead to significant over- / or underestimations of the ozone effect. By reparameterising these photosynthetic based damage functions we develop linear, plant functional type specific dose-response
relationships, which provide accurate simulations of the observed whole-tree biomass response across these 23 experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2018

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