Bayesian inference of a dynamic vegetation model for grassland

Julien Minet, Eric Laloy, Bernard Tychon, Louis François


As a part of the MACSUR task L2.4, we probabilistically calibrated the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with the DREAMZS sampler.. CARAIB is a mechanistic model that calculates the carbon assimilation of the vegetation as a function of the soil and climatic conditions, and can thus be used for simulating grassland production under cutting or grazing management.

Bayesian model inversion was performed at 4 grassland sites across Europe: Oensingen, CH; Grillenburg, DE; Laqueuille, FR and Monte-Bodone, IT. Four daily measured variables from these sites: the Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Evapotranspiration (ET) and Soil Water Content (SWC) were used to sample 10 parameters related to rooting depth, stomatal conductance, specific leaf area, carbon-nitrogen ratio and water stresses. The maximized likelihood function therefore involved four objectives, whereas the applied Bayesian framework allowed for assessing the so called parameter posterior probability density function (pdf), which quantifies model parameter uncertainty caused by measurement and model errors. Sampling trials were performed using merged data from all sites (all-sites-sampling) and for each site (site-specific sampling) separately.

The derived posterior parameter pdfs from the all-sites sampling and site-specific sampling runs showed differences in relation with the specificities of each site. Analysis of these distributions also revealed model sensitivity to parameters conditioned on the measured data, as well as parameter correlations.

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