Novel coupled permafrost–forest model (LAVESI–CryoGrid v1.0) revealing the interplay between permafrost, vegetation, and climate across eastern Siberia

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<jats:p>Abstract. Boreal forests of Siberia play a relevant role in the global carbon cycle. However, global warming threatens the existence of summergreen larch-dominated ecosystems, likely enabling a transition to evergreen tree taxa with deeper active layers. Complex permafrost–vegetation interactions make it uncertain whether these ecosystems could develop into a carbon source rather than continuing atmospheric carbon sequestration under global warming. Consequently, shedding light on the role of current and future active layer dynamics and the feedbacks with the apparent tree species is crucial to predict boreal forest transition dynamics and thus for aboveground forest biomass and carbon stock developments. Hence, we established a coupled model version amalgamating a one-dimensional permafrost multilayer forest land-surface model (CryoGrid) with LAVESI, an individual-based and spatially explicit forest model for larch species (Larix Mill.), extended for this study by including other relevant Siberian forest species and explicit terrain. Following parameterization, we ran simulations with the coupled version to the near future to 2030 with a mild climate-warming scenario. We focus on three regions covering a gradient of summergreen forests in the east at Spasskaya Pad, mixed summergreen–evergreen forests close to Nyurba, and the warmest area at Lake Khamra in the southeast of Yakutia, Russia. Coupled simulations were run with the newly implemented boreal forest species and compared to runs allowing only one species at a time, as well as to simulations using just LAVESI. Results reveal that the coupled version corrects for overestimation of active layer thickness (ALT) and soil moisture, and large differences in established forests are simulated. We conclude that the coupled version can simulate the complex environment of eastern Siberia by reproducing vegetation patterns, making it an excellent tool to disentangle processes driving boreal forest dynamics. </jats:p>

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DOI 10.5194/gmd-15-2395-2022

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Kruse, S. , Stuenzi, S. M. , Boike, J. , Langer, M. , Gloy, J. and Herzschuh, U. (2022): Novel coupled permafrost–forest model (LAVESI–CryoGrid v1.0) revealing the interplay between permafrost, vegetation, and climate across eastern Siberia , Geoscientific Model Development, 15 (6), pp. 2395-2422 . doi: 10.5194/gmd-15-2395-2022

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