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Title: Carbonyl sulfide: comparing a mechanistic representation of the vegetation uptake in a land surface model and the leaf relative uptake approach
Abstract. Land surface modellers need measurable proxies toconstrain the quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) assimilated bycontinental plants through photosynthesis, known as gross primary production(GPP). Carbonyl sulfide (COS), which is taken up by leaves through theirstomates and then hydrolysed by photosynthetic enzymes, is a candidate GPPproxy. A former study with the ORCHIDEE land surface model used a fixedratio of COS uptake to CO2 uptake normalised to respective ambientconcentrations for each vegetation type (leaf relative uptake, LRU) tocompute vegetation COS fluxes from GPP. The LRU approach is known to havelimited accuracy since the LRU ratio changes with variables such asphotosynthetically active radiation (PAR): while CO2 uptake slows underlow light, COS uptake is not light limited. However, the LRU approach hasbeen popular for COS–GPP proxy studies because of its ease of applicationand apparent low contribution to uncertainty for regional-scaleapplications. In this study we refined the COS–GPP relationship andimplemented in ORCHIDEE a mechanistic model that describes COS uptake bycontinental vegetation. We compared the simulated COS fluxes againstmeasured hourly COS fluxes at two sites and studied the model behaviour andlinks with environmental drivers. We performed simulations at a global scale,and we estimated the global COS uptake by vegetation to be −756 Gg S yr−1,in the middle range of more » former studies (−490 to −1335 Gg S yr−1). Basedon monthly mean fluxes simulated by the mechanistic approach in ORCHIDEE, wederived new LRU values for the different vegetation types, ranging between0.92 and 1.72, close to recently published averages for observed values of1.21 for C4 and 1.68 for C3 plants. We transported the COS using the monthlyvegetation COS fluxes derived from both the mechanistic and the LRUapproaches, and we evaluated the simulated COS concentrations at NOAA sites.Although the mechanistic approach was more appropriate when comparing tohigh-temporal-resolution COS flux measurements, both approaches gave similarresults when transporting with monthly COS fluxes and evaluating COSconcentrations at stations. In our study, uncertainties between these twoapproaches are of secondary importance compared to the uncertainties in theCOS global budget, which are currently a limiting factor to the potential ofCOS concentrations to constrain GPP simulated by land surface models on theglobal scale. « less
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