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Modeling the coupled exchange of water and CO2 over croplands

Authors
  • Combe, Marie
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2016
Source
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Croplands are a managed type of vegetation, with a carbon storage that is highly optimized for food production. For instance, their sowing dates are chosen by the farmers, their genetic potential is bred for high grain yields, and their on-field competition with other species is reduced to the minimum. As a result of human intervention, croplands are a major land cover type (roughly one fifth of the land area over Europe) and they experience a short growing season during which they exchange carbon and water intensively with the atmosphere. Their growth significantly affects the seasonal amplitude of CO2 mole fractions over the globe, interact with extreme weather events such as droughts and heat waves, and impact surface hydrology due to their water consumption. However, and in spite of their relevance, terrestrial biosphere models used in carbon cycle and atmospheric research often assume the phenology of croplands to be similar to the one of grasslands, and they also ignore the impact of crop management. This oversimplification is the motivation for this thesis. We focus on understanding and modeling the key surface and atmospheric processes that shape the cropland water and CO2 exchange, and the resulting impact on the CO2 mole fractions of the atmosphere overhead. We study these processes from the daily to the seasonal scale, for croplands of the mid-latitudes. In the end, we come with recommendations and a new modeling framework to represent the cropland CO2 and water exchange in the Earth System, weather and climate models.

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