Forest patch modeling: Using high performance computing to simulate aboveground interactions among individual trees

George E Host, Harlan W. Stech, Kathryn E. Lenz, Kyle Roskoski, Richard Mather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Functional-structural plant models (FSPMs) typically integrate suites of detailed physiological and phenological processes to simulate the growth of individual plants. Recent advances in high-performance computing have allowed FSPMs to be extended to patches of interacting trees. Here, we describe a parallel modelling strategy to run simultaneous individual tree models across an 8 x 8 patch of trees. The 64 'core' trees are surrounded by multiple rings of neighbour trees to remove edge effects. A sensitivity analysis of the patch model demonstrates that computational factors such as the number of independently simulated trees (9 v. 36) or number of neighbour rings (3 v. 6) did not significantly influence model estimates of tree volume growth. Updated submodels for phenology and redistribution of overwinter carbohydrate storage allow the simulation to be more responsive to above ground competition among trees in a patch over multiple growing seasons. An 8-year patch-scale simulation of aspen clones 216 and 259 was conducted using high-resolution environmental data from the Aspen FACE Experiment, a long-term free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) study. Tree heights and volumes were comparable to 8-year growth measurements made at the Aspen FACE site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)976-987
Number of pages12
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Volume35
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 18 2008

Keywords

  • Canopy light interception
  • Computer simulation
  • FACE
  • Parallel processing
  • Patch-scale modeling
  • Phenology
  • Physiological process model
  • Populus

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