land surface modeling with enhanced consideration of soil hydraulic properties and terrestrial ecosystems
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This thesis research consists of two separate studies. The first study presents the assessment and representation of the effects of soil macropores on the soil hydraulic properties in land surface models for more accurate simulations of soil moisture and surface hydrology. Hydraulic properties determine the soil water content and its transport in the soil. They are provided in most current climate models as empirical formulas by functions of the soil texture. Such is not realistic if the soil contains a substantial amount of macropores. A two-mode soil pore size distribution is incorporated into a land surface model and tested using an observational dataset at a tropical forest site with aggregated soils. The result showed that the existence of macropores greatly affects the estimation of hydraulic properties. Their influence can be included in land models by adding a second function to the pore-size distribution. A practical hydraulic scheme with macropore considerations was proposed given that the existing schemes are not applicable for large-scale simulations. The developed scheme was based on the physical attributes of the water in soil capillary pores and the statistics of several global soil databases. The preliminary test showed that it captures part of soil macropore hydraulic features without sacrificing the estimation accuracy of hydraulic properties of water in soil matrix. The second study presents the development of an integrated land/ecosystem model by combining the advanced features of a biophysically based land model, the Community Land Model, and an ecosystem biochemical model. The results from tests of the integrated model at four forest sites showed that the model reasonably captures the seasonal and interannual dynamics of leaf area index and leaf nitrogen control on carbon assimilation across different environments. With being coupled to an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM), the integrated model showed a strong ability to simulate terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes together with heat and water fluxes. Its simulated land surface physical variables are reasonable in both geographic distribution and temporal variation with considering the interactive vegetation parameters.