Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (9): 1027-1047.doi: 10.11821/xb201009001

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The Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) for Simulating Terrestrial Processes and Interactions in the Context of Multifactor Global Change

TIAN Hanqin1,2, LIU Mingliang1,2, ZHANG Chi1,2, REN Wei1,2, XU Xiaofeng1,2, CHEN Guangsheng1,2, LU Chaoqun1,2, TAO Bo1,2   

  1. 1. International Center for Climate and Global Change Research, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849, USA;
    2. School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn AL 36849, USA
  • Received:2009-12-25 Revised:2010-05-05 Online:2010-09-20 Published:2010-09-20
  • Supported by:

    Foundation:NASA IDS Program, No.NNG04GM39C; NASA LCLUC Program, No.NNX08AL73G_S01; DOE NICCR Program, No. DUKE-UN-07-NICCR; Overseas Outstanding Young Scientist Fund of NSFC, No.40128005


The Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) was developed to meet critical needs for understanding and predicting the large-scale patterns and processes of terrestrial ecosystems and continental margins, and complex interactions among climate, ecosystem and human in the context of multifactor global change. The DLEM couples major biophysical, biogeochemical, vegetation dynamical and land use processes, and works at multiple scales in time step ranging from daily to yearly and spatial resolution from meters to kilometers, from region to globe. The DLEM is characterized by the following features: 1) multiple factors driven; 2) fully-coupled cycles of carbon, nitrogen and water; 3) concurrently simulation of major greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, & H2O); 4) dynamically tracking changes in land cover/use and vegetation distribution. The model has been validated against site-specific measurements across the globe and applied at various scales. In this paper, we have briefly addressed model structure, parameters, key processes and major input/output variables. As a case study, we presented the simulated global fluxes of net primary productivity, evapotranspiration and methane during 1948-2005 and their spatial patterns in the year 2000. We also identified major gaps in terrestrial ecosystem modeling and field observations, and further discussed some critical future research needs.

Key words: Climate system, Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM), Earth system, Global change, Terrestrial ecosystem