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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-129
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-129
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Apr 2019

Research article | 23 Apr 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG).

Assessing impacts of selective logging on water, energy, and carbon budgets and ecosystem dynamics in Amazon forests using the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator

Maoyi Huang1, Yi Xu1,2, Marcos Longo3,4, Michael Keller3,4,5, Ryan Knox6, Charles Koven6, and Rosie Fisher7 Maoyi Huang et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 2School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
  • 3Embrapa Agricultural Informatics, Campinas, SP, Brazil
  • 4Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 5International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, USA
  • 6Earth & Environmental Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 7Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. Tropical forest degradation from logging, fire, and fragmentation not only alters carbon stocks and carbon fluxes, but also impacts physical land-surface properties such as albedo and roughness length. Such impacts are poorly quantified to date due to difficulties in accessing and maintaining observational infrastructures, and the lack of proper modeling tools for capturing the interactions among biophysical properties, ecosystem demography, canopy structure, and biogeochemical cycling in tropical forests. As a first step to address these limitations, we implemented a selective logging module into the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) by mimicking the ecological, biophysical, and biogeochemical processes following a logging event. The model can specify the timing and aerial extent of logging events, splitting the logged forest patch into disturbed and intact patches, determine the survivorship of cohorts in the disturbed patch, and modifying the biomass and necromass (total mass of coarse woody debris and litter) pools following logging. We parameterized the logging module to reproduce a selective logging experiment at the Tapajós National Forest in Brazil and benchmarked model outputs against available field measurements. Our results suggest that the model permits the coexistence of early and late successional functional types and realistically characterizes the seasonality of water and carbon fluxes and stocks, the forest structure and composition, and the ecosystem succession following disturbance. However, the current version of FATES overestimates water stress in the dry season therefore fails to capture seasonal variation in latent and sensible heat fluxes. Moreover, we observed a bias towards low stem density and leaf area when compared to observations, suggesting that improvements are needed in both carbon allocation and establishment of trees. The effects of logging were assessed by different logging scenarios to represent reduced impact and conventional logging practices, both with high and low logging intensities. The model simulations suggest that in comparison to old-growth forests the logged forests rapidly recover water and energy fluxes in one to three years. In contrast, the recovery times for carbon stocks, forest structure and composition are more than 30 years depending on logging practices and intensity. This study lays the foundation to simulate land use change and forest degradation in FATES, which will be an effective tool to directly represent forest management practices and regeneration in the context of Earth System Models.

Maoyi Huang et al.
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Short summary
The Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) is enhanced to mimick the ecological, biophysical, and biogeochemical processes following a logging event. The model can specify the timing and aerial extent of logging events, determine the survivorship of cohorts in the disturbed forest, and modifying the biomass, coarse woody debris and litter pools. This study lays the foundation to simulate land use change and forest degradation in FATES.
The Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator (FATES) is enhanced to mimick the...
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