US Long-Term Ecological Research Network

Quantitative Modeling and Analyses

A novel family of models are being used to evaluate potential future changes in freshwater and related ecosystem services (see table) from present conditions to those in 2050.

agro-IBIS schematic

Agro-IBIS: A Comprehensive Model of Land Surface & Ecosystem Processes

Agro-IBIS simulates the energy, water, carbon, and momentum balance of the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. It simulates Midwest US natural vegetation (forests, grasslands) and corn, soybean, and wheat agroecosystems, including terrestrial C and N cycling. The model accounts for agricultural management and the effects of environmental stressors on crop development and water balance and uses a 1-hour time step.

THMB: A Terrestrial Hydrology & Biogeochemistry Model

THMB routes the surface runoff and sub-surface drainage (and associated flows of leached N) simulated by Agro-IBIS into the stream network including lakes. The hydrological network (derived from high-resolution topographic/bathymetric data) and floodplain morphology are linked at 10-m resolution to simulate the stage and discharge of rivers, inundation extent, and nutrient flux and concentration all using a 1-hour time step. Together, Agro-IBIS and THMB mechanistically simulate the hydrology and biogeochemistry of the entire basin simultaneously from source to sink.

Model Innovations

Three new modules are being developed that will

  1. Simulate groundwater flow using MODFLOW and link it to land surface processes in Agro-IBIS/THMB
  2. Expand model to include key perennial bioenergy cropping systems (switchgrass and Miscanthus)
  3. Incorporate phosphorus yield and transport to surface waters using Agro-IBIS and THMB.

Lake Water Quality Modeling

Fluxes of water and phosphorus from the Agro-IBIS/THMB models will be input to a Yahara Water Quality Model (YWQM) to project changes in water quality. The YWQM includes inputs, outputs and recycling of phosphorus and is calibrated using annual P budgets (1975-present) and water quality data maintained by the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research (NkuTL-LTER) program.



Important IBIS & Agro-IBIS publications

Agro-IBIS presentations

Agro-IBIS overview I

Agro-IBIS overview II

Agro-IBIS overview III

Agro-IBIS Model development, formulation and validation

Kucharik, C.J., J.A. Foley, C. Delire, V.A. Fisher, M.T. Coe, J. Lenters, C. Young-Molling, N. Ramankutty, J.M. Norman, and S.T. Gower (2000). Testing the performance of a dynamic global ecosystem model: Water balance, carbon balance and vegetation structure. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 14(3), 795-825.

Kucharik, C.J. and K.R. Brye (2003). Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS) yield and nitrate loss predictions for Wisconsin maize receiving varied amounts of  Nitrogen fertilizer. Journal of Environmental Quality 32, 247-268.

Kucharik, C.J. (2003). Evaluation of a process-based agro-ecosystem model (Agro-IBIS) across the U.S. cornbelt: simulations of the inter-annual variability in maize yield. Earth Interactions 7, 1-33.

Scholze, M., A. Bondeau, F. Ewert, C. Kucharik, J. Priess, and P. Smith (2005). Advances in Large-Scale Crop Modeling, Eos Trans. AGU, 86(26), 245.

Kucharik, C.J., C. Barford, M. El Maayar, S.C. Wofsy, R.K. Monson, D.D. Baldocchi (2006). A multiyear evaluation of a dynamic global vegetation model at three AmeriFlux forest sites: Vegetation structure, phenology, soil temperature, and CO2 and H2O vapor exchange. Ecological Modelling 196, 1-31.

El Maayar, M., N. Ramankutty, and C.J. Kucharik (2006). Modeling global and regional net primary production under elevated atmospheric CO2: On a potential source of uncertainty. Earth Interactions 10, 1-20.

Kucharik, C.J. and T.E. Twine (2007). Residue, respiration, and residuals: Evaluation of a dynamic agroecosystem model using eddy flux measurements and biometric data. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 146, 134-158, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2007.05.011.

Twine, T.E., and C.J. Kucharik (2008). Evaluating a terrestrial ecosystem model with satellite information of greenness. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, G03027, doi:10.1029/2007JG000599.

Schwalm, C.R, C. A. Williams, K. Schaefer, R. Anderson, M. Altaf Arain, I. Baker, A. Barr, T. A. Black, G. Chen, J.M. Chen, P. Ciais, K. J. Davis, A. Desai, M. Dietze, D. Dragoni, M. L. Fischer, L. B. Flanagan, R. Grant, L. Gu, D. Hollinger, R. César Izaurralde, C.J. Kucharik, P. Lafleur, B. E. Law, L. Li, Z. Li, S. Liu, E. Lokupitiya, Y. Luo, S. Ma, H. Margolis, R. Matamala, H. McCaughey, R. K. Monson, W. C. Oechel, C. Peng, B. Poulter, D. T. Price, D. M. Riciutto, W. Riley, A. K. Sahoo, M. Sprintsin, J. Sun, H. Tian, C. Tonitto, H. Verbeeck, S. B. Verma, 2010. A model-data intercomparison of CO2 exchange across North America:  Results from the North American Carbon Program site synthesis.  Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, 115, G00H05. doi:  10.1029/2009JG001229.

VanLoocke A, Bernacchi CJ, Twine TE. (2010) The impacts of Miscanthus x. giganteus production on the Midwest U.S. hydrologic cycle. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 2, 180-191.

Dietze, M.C., R. Vargas, A.D. Richardson, P.C. Stoy, A.G. Barr, R.S. Anderson, M. Altaf Arain, I.T. Baker, T.A. Black, J.M. Chen, P. Ciais, L.B. Flanagan, C.M. Gough, R.F. Grant, D. Hollinger, C. Izaurralde, C.J. Kucharik, P. Lafleur, S. Liu, E. Lokupitiya, Y. Luo, J.W. Munger, C. Peng, B. Poulter, D.T. Price, D.M. Ricciuto, W.J. Riley, A.K. Sahoo, K. Schaefer, H. Tian, H. Verbeeck, S.B. Verma (2011).  Characterizing the performance of ecosystem models across time scales:  A spectral analysis of the North American Carbon Program site-level synthesis.  J. Geophys. Res.-Biogeosciences, 116, G04029, doi:10.1029/2011JG001661.

Cuadra, S.V., M.H. Costa, C.J. Kucharik, H.R. DaRocha, J.D. Tatsch, G. Inman-Bamber, R.P. DaRocha, C.C. Leite, and O.M.R. Cabral (2011).  A biophysical model of sugarcane growth.  Global Change Biology Bioenergy, DOI: 10.1111/j.1757-1707.2011.01105.x.

Schaefer, K., Schwalm C., C. Williams , A. Arain , A. Barr , J. Chen , K. Davis , D. Dimitrov , T. Hilton , D. Hollinger , E. Humphreys , B. Poulter , B. Raczka , A. Richardson , A. Sahoo , P. Thornton , R. Vargas , H. Verbeeck , R. Anderson , I. Baker , T. A. Black , P. Bolstad , J. Chen , P. Curtis , A. Desai , M. Dietze , D. Dragoni , C. Gough , R. Grant , L. Gu , A. Jain , C. Kucharik , B. Law , S. Liu , E. Lokipitiya , H. Margolis , R. Matamala , H. McCaughey , R. Monson , J. W. Munger , W. Oechel , C. Peng , D. Price , D. Ricciuto , W. Riley , N. Roulet , H. Tian , C. Tonitto , M. Torn , E. Weng , X. Zhou (2012).  A Model-Data Comparison of Gross Primary Productivity: Results from the North American Carbon Program Site Synthesis. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 117, G03010, doi:10.1029/2012JG001960.

VanLoocke A, Twine TE, Zeri M, Bernacchi CJ. (2012) A regional comparison of water-use-efficiency for miscanthus, switchgrass and maize. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 164, 82-95.

Stoy, P.C., M. Dietze, A.D. Richardson, R. Vargas, A.G. Barr, R.S. Anderson, M.A. Arain, I.T. Baker, T.A. Black, J.M. Chen, R.B. Cook, C.M. Gough, R.F. Grant, D.Y. Hollinger, C. Izaurralde, C.J. Kucharik, P. Lafleur, B.E. Law, S. Liu, E. Lokupitiya, Y. Luo, J.W. Munger, C. Peng, B. Poulter, D.T. Price, D.M. Ricciuto, W.J. Riley, A.K. Sahoo, K. Schaefer, C.R. Schwalm, H. Tian, H. Verbeeck, and E. Weng (2013).  Evaluating the agreement between measurements and models of net ecosystem exchange at different times and time scales using wavelet coherence: An example using data from the North American Carbon Program Site-Level Interim Synthesis. Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 3039-3077.

Soylu, M.E., C.J. Kucharik, and S.P. Loheide (2014).  Influence of groundwater on plant water use and productivity:  development of an integrated ecosystem-variably saturated soil water flow model.  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 189-190:  198-210.

Important Agro-IBIS model applications

Kucharik, C.J., K.R. Brye, J.M. Norman, J.A. Foley, S.T. Gower, and L.G. Bundy (2001). Measurements and modeling of carbon and nitrogen cycling in agroecosystems of southern Wisconsin: Potential for SOC sequestration during the next 50 years. Ecosystems 4, 237-258.

Cramer, W., A. Bondeau, F.I. Woodward, I.C. Prentice, R.A. Betts, V. Brovkin, P.M. Cox, V. Fisher, J. Foley, A.D. Friend, C. Kucharik, M.R. Lomas, N. Ramankutty, S. Sitch, B. Smith, A. White, and C. Young-Molling (2001). Global response of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function to CO2 and climate change: results from six dynamic global vegetation models. Global Change Biology 7, 347-373.

Donner, S.D. and C.J. Kucharik (2003). Evaluating the impacts of land management and climate variability on crop production and nitrate export across the Upper Mississippi Basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 17(3) 1085, doi:10.1029/2001GB001808.

Twine, T.E., C.J. Kucharik, and J.A. Foley (2004). Effects of land cover change on the energy and water balance of the Mississippi River Basin. Journal of Hydrometeorology 5(4), 640-655.

Donner, S.D., C.J. Kucharik, and J.A. Foley (2004). The impact of changing land use practices on nitrate export by the Mississippi River. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 18, GB1028, doi:10.1029/2003GB002093.

Twine, T.E., C.J. Kucharik, and J.A. Foley (2005). Effects of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation on the climate, water balance and streamflow of the Mississippi River Basin. Journal of Climate 18,(22), 4840–4861.

Vano, J.A., J.A. Foley, C.J. Kucharik, and M.T. Coe (2006). Evaluating the seasonal and interannual variations in water balance in northern Wisconsin using a land surface model, Journal of Geophysical Research 111, G02025, doi:10.1029/2005JG000112.

Vano, J.A., J.A. Foley, C.J. Kucharik, and M.T. Coe (2008), Controls of climatic variability and land cover on land surface hydrology of northern Wisconsin, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, G04040, doi:10.1029/2007JG000681.

Donner S.D., and C.J. Kucharik (2008). Corn-based ethanol production compromises goal of reducing nitrogen export by the Mississippi River. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: 4513-4518.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708300105.

Twine, T.E. and C.J. Kucharik (2009). Climate impacts on net primary productivity trends in natural and managed ecosystems of the central and eastern United States. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149, 2143-2161.  DOI:10.1016/j.agformet.2009.05.012.

Sacks, W.J. and C.J. Kucharik (2011).  Trends in crop management and phenology in the U.S. Corn Belt, and impacts on yields, evapotranspiration, and energy balance. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, doi:10.1016/j.agrformet.2011.02.010.

Schneider, A., K. Logan, and C.J. Kucharik (2012).  Impacts of urbanization on ecosystem goods and services in the U.S. Corn Belt:  An agro-ecosystem modeling approach.  Ecosystems, doi: 10.1007/s10021-012-9519-1.

Ozdogan, M., A. Robock, and C.J. Kucharik (2012). Impacts of a nuclear war in South Asia on soybean and maize production in the Midwest United States.  Climatic Change, 22 June 2012 DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0518-1.

Motew, M.M., and C.J. Kucharik (2013).  Climate-induced changes in biome distribution, NPP, and hydrology in the Upper Midwest US: a case study for potential vegetation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences, DOI: 10.1002/jgrg.20025.

Twine, T.E., J.J. Bryant, K. Richter, C.J. Bernacchi, K. D. McConnaughay, S.J. Morris, and A.D.B. Leakey.  Impacts of elevated CO2 concentration on the productivity and surface energy budget of the soybean and maize agroecosystem in the Midwest USA.  Global Change Biology, 19: 2838-2852.

Kucharik C.J., VanLoocke A., Lenters J.D., and Motew M.M. (2013). Miscanthus establishment and overwintering risk in the Midwest US:  a regional modeling case study of crop residue management impacts on critical minimum soil temperatures.  PLoS ONE 8(7): e68847. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068847.

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