Process-based ecosystem models are useful tools, not only for understanding the forest carbon cycle, but also for predicting future change. In order to apply a model to simulate a specific time period, model initialization is required. In this study, we propose a new scheme of initialization for forest ecosystem models, which we term a "slow-relaxation scheme", that entails scaling of the soil carbon and nitrogen pools slowly during the spin-up period. The proposed slow-relation scheme was tested with the CENTURY version 4 ecosystem model. Three different combinations of scaled soil pools were also tested, and compared to the results from a fast-relaxation regime. The fast-relaxation of soil pools produced unstable, transient model behaviour whereas slow-relaxation overcame this instability. This approach holds promise for initializing ecosystem models, and for starting simulations with more realistic initial conditions. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Ecosystem model
- Soil carbon