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Modelling forest management within a global vegetation model. Part 1: Model structure and general behaviour

Bellassen V., Le Maire G., Dhôte J.F., Ciais P., Viovy N.. 2010. Ecological Modelling, 221 (20) : p. 2458-2474.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.07.008

This article describes a new forest management module (FMM) that explicitly simulates forest stand growth and management within a process-based global vegetation model (GVM) called ORCHIDEE. The net primary productivity simulated by ORCHIDEE is used as an input to the FMM. TheFMMthen calculates stand and management characteristics such as stand density, tree size distribution, tree growth, the timing and intensity of thinnings and clear-cuts, wood extraction and litter generated after thinning. Some of these variables are then fed back to ORCHIDEE. These computations are made possible with a distribution-based modelling of individual tree size. The model derives natural mortality from the relative density index (rdi), a competition index based on tree size and stand density. Based on the common forestry management principle of avoiding natural mortality, a set of rules is defined to calculate the recurrent intensity and frequency of forestry operations during the stand lifetime. The new-coupled model is called ORCHIDEE-FM (forest management). The general behaviour of ORCHIDEE-FM is analysed for a broadleaf forest in north-eastern France. Flux simulation throughout a forest rotation compare well with the literature values, both in absolute values and dynamics. Results from ORCHIDEE-FM highlight the impact of forest management on ecosystem C-cycling, both in terms of carbon fluxes and stocks. In particular, the average net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of 225 gCm?2 year?1 is close to the biome average of 311 gCm?2 year?1. The NEP of the "unmanaged" case is 40% lower, leading us to conclude that management explains 40% of the cumulated carbon sink over 150 years. A sensitivity analysis reveals 4 major avenues for improvement: a better determination of initial conditions, an improved allocation scheme to explain age-related decline in productivity, and an increased specificity of both the self-thinning curve and the biomass-diameter allometry.

Mots-clés : forêt; modèle mathématique; aménagement forestier; dynamique des populations; compétition biologique; espacement; croissance; cycle du carbone; modélisation environnementale; litière forestière; carbone; france; cycle

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