Soybean Physiology Calibration in the Community Land Model

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Beth A Drewniak1, Ilias Bilionis2 and Emil M Constantinescu1, (1)Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, United States, (2)Purdue University, Mechanical Engineering, West Lafayette, IN, United States
With the large influence of agricultural land use on biophysical and biogeochemical cycles, integrating cultivation into Earth System Models (ESMs) is increasingly important. The Community Land Model (CLM) was augmented with a CLM-Crop extension that simulates the development of three crop types: maize, soybean, and spring wheat. The CLM-Crop model is a complex system that relies on a suite of parametric inputs that govern plant growth under a given atmospheric forcing and available resources. However, the strong nonlinearity of ESMs makes parameter fitting a difficult task. In this study, our goal is to calibrate ten of the CLM-Crop parameters for one crop type, soybean, in order to improve model projection of plant development and carbon fluxes. We used measurements of gross primary productivity, net ecosystem exchange, and plant biomass from AmeriFlux sites to choose parameter values that optimize crop productivity in the model. Calibration is performed in a Bayesian framework by developing a scalable and adaptive scheme based on sequential Monte Carlo (SMC). Our scheme can perform model calibration using very few evaluations and, by exploiting parallelism, at a fraction of the time required by plain vanilla Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). We present the results from a twin experiment (self-validation) and calibration results and validation using real observations from an AmeriFlux tower site in the Midwestern United States, for the soybean crop type. The improved model will help researchers understand how climate affects crop production and resulting carbon fluxes, and additionally, how cultivation impacts climate.