Short Name:

Integrated Biosphere Simulator Model (IBIS), Version 2.5

The Integrated Biosphere Simulator (or IBIS) is designed to be a comprehensive model of the terrestrial biosphere. Tthe model represents a wide range of processes, including land surface physics, canopy physiology, plant phenology, vegetation dynamics and competition, and carbon and nutrient cycling. The model generates global simulations of the surface water balance (e.g., runoff), the terrestrial carbon balance (e.g., net primary production, net ecosystem exchange, soil carbon, aboveground and belowground litter, and soil CO2 fluxes), and vegetation structure (e.g., biomass, leaf area index, and vegetation composition). IBIS was developed by Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) researchers as a first step toward gaining an improved understanding of global biospheric processes and studying their potential response to human activity [Foley et al. 1996]. IBIS was constructed to explicitly link land surface and hydrological processes, terrestrial biogeochemical cycles, and vegetation dynamics within a single, physically consistent framework. Furthermore, IBIS was one of a new generation of global biosphere models, termed Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (or DGVMs), that consider transient changes in vegetation composition and structure in response to environmental change. Previous global ecosystem models have typically focused on the equilibrium state of vegetation and could not allow vegetation patterns to change over time. Version 2.5 of IBIS includes several major improvements and additions [Kucharik et al. 2000]. SAGE continues to test the performance of the model, assembling a wide range of continental- and global-scale data, including measurements of river discharge, net primary production, vegetation structure, root biomass, soil carbon, litter carbon, and soil CO2 flux. Using these field data and model results for the contemporary biosphere (1965-1994), their evaluation shows that simulated patterns of runoff, NPP, biomass, leaf area index, soil carbon, and total soil CO2 flux agreed reasonably well with measurements that have been compiled from numerous ecosystems. These results also compare favorably to other global model results [Kucharik et al. 2000].

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