Scaling for Robust Empirical Modeling and Predictions of Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) from Diverse Wetland Ecosystems

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Khandker S. Ishtiaq and Omar I. Abdul-Aziz, Florida International University, Miami, FL, United States
We developed a scaling-based, simple empirical model for spatio-temporally robust prediction of the diurnal cycles of wetland net ecosystem exchange (NEE) by using an extended stochastic harmonic algorithm (ESHA). A reference-time observation from each diurnal cycle was utilized as the scaling parameter to normalize and collapse hourly observed NEE of different days into a single, dimensionless diurnal curve. The modeling concept was tested by parameterizing the unique diurnal curve and predicting hourly NEE of May to October (summer growing and fall seasons) between 2002-12 for diverse wetland ecosystems, as available in the U.S. AmeriFLUX network. As an example, the Taylor Slough short hydroperiod marsh site in the Florida Everglades had data for four consecutive growing seasons from 2009-12; results showed impressive modeling efficiency (coefficient of determination, R2 = 0.66) and accuracy (ratio of root-mean-square-error to the standard deviation of observations, RSR = 0.58). Model validation was performed with an independent year of NEE data, indicating equally impressive performance (R2 = 0.68, RSR = 0.57). The model included a parsimonious set of estimated parameters, which exhibited spatio-temporal robustness by collapsing onto narrow ranges. Model robustness was further investigated by analytically deriving and quantifying parameter sensitivity coefficients and a first-order uncertainty measure. The relatively robust, empirical NEE model can be applied for simulating continuous (e.g., hourly) NEE time-series from a single reference observation (or a set of limited observations) at different wetland sites of comparable hydro-climatology, biogeochemistry, and ecology. The method can also be used for a robust gap-filling of missing data in observed time-series of periodic ecohydrological variables for wetland or other ecosystems.