Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-107
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-107
30 Apr 2024
 | 30 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Modeling water balance components of conifer species using the Noah-MP model in an eastern Mediterranean ecosystem

Mohsen Amini Fasakhodi, Hakan Djuma, Ioannis Sofokleous, Marinos Eliades, and Adriana Bruggeman

Abstract. Few studies have investigated the performance of land surface models for semi-arid Mediterranean forests. This study aims to parameterize and test the performance of the Noah-MP land surface model for an eastern Mediterranean ecosystem. To this end, we modeled the water balance components of two conifer species, Pinus brutia, and Cupressus sempervirens, in a plantation forest on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The study area has a long-term average annual rainfall of 315 mm. Observations from 4 sap flow and 48 soil moisture sensors, for the period from December 2020 to June 2022, were used for model parameterization. A local sensitivity analysis found that the surface infiltration (REFKDT), hydraulic conductivity (SATDK), and stomatal resistance (RSMIN) parameters had the highest impacts on the soil water balance components and transpiration. The model performed better during the wetter 9-month validation period (379 mm rain) than during the drier 10-month calibration period (175 mm rain). Average soil moisture in the top 60-cm of the soil profile was reasonably well captured for both species (daily NSE > 0.70 for validation). Among the three soil layers, the second layer (20–40 cm) showed better simulation performance during both periods and for both species. The model exhibited limitations in simulating transpiration, particularly during the drier calibration period. Inclusion of a root distribution function in the model, along with the monitoring of soil moisture below the 60-cm soil depth in the field, could improve the accuracy of model simulations in such water-limited ecosystems.

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Mohsen Amini Fasakhodi, Hakan Djuma, Ioannis Sofokleous, Marinos Eliades, and Adriana Bruggeman

Status: open (until 28 Jun 2024)

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Mohsen Amini Fasakhodi, Hakan Djuma, Ioannis Sofokleous, Marinos Eliades, and Adriana Bruggeman
Mohsen Amini Fasakhodi, Hakan Djuma, Ioannis Sofokleous, Marinos Eliades, and Adriana Bruggeman

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Short summary
This study examined the water use of pine and cypress trees in a semi-arid Mediterranean forest environment. We applied a widely used land surface model (Noah-MP) to simulate the water balance of the ecosystem. We found good modeling results for soil moisture. However, the model underestimated the transpiration of the trees during the dry summer months. These findings indicate that more research is needed to improve the modeling of ecosystem responses to climate and land use change.