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  1. Abstract

    The Community Land Model (CLM) started to incorporate crop growth models since version 4.0 in 2012. Since then, the crop model in CLM has been evolved remarkably, but some of the key crop growth responses to environmental conditions (such as the elevated CO2) have not been well validated. Here, we set up single point simulations with CLM (version 4.5) and validated spring wheat growth response against the Maricopa spring wheat Free Air CO2Enrichment (FACE) experiment that consisted of multiyear paired treatments to understand the growth response to elevated CO2, irrigation, nitrogen fertilization, and their interactions. Overall, CLM showed too positive growth response to elevated CO2but insufficient growth response to irrigation. The overestimated growth response to elevated CO2may be due to ignoring factors (e.g., leaf traits) that will limit crop growth under elevated CO2. The insufficient response to irrigation is due to CLM simulating lower latent heat flux during April and May, which resulted in higher soil moisture. In response to nitrogen fertilization, CLM underestimated leaf area index increase but overestimated grain yield increase. In terms of energy fluxes, CLM showed decreased latent heat flux in response to elevated CO2but increased latent heat flux in response to nitrogen fertilization, but the response magnitude was much smaller than the observations. Based on these validations, we summarized further model developments for CLM to better simulate crop growth process.

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  2. Abstract

    Agricultural expansion and management have greatly increased global food production and altered Earth's climate by changing physical and biogeochemical properties of terrestrial ecosystems. Few Earth system models represent agricultural management practices due to the complexity of the interactions between human decisions and biological processes on global scales. We describe the new capabilities of representing crop distributions and management in the Community Land Model (CLM) Version 5, which includes time‐varying spatial distributions of major crop types and their management through fertilization and irrigation, and temperature‐based phenological triggers. Including active crop management increases peak growing season gross primary productivity (GPP), increases the amplitude of Northern Hemisphere net ecosystem exchange, and changes seasonal and annual patterns of latent and sensible heat fluxes. The CLM5 crop model simulates the global observed historical trend of crop yields with relative fidelity from 1850 to 1990. Cropland expansion was important for increasing crop production, especially during the first century of the simulations, while fertilization and irrigation were important for increasing yields from 1950 onward. From 1990 to present day, observed crop production continued to increase while CLM5 production levels off, likely because intensification practices are not represented in the model. Specifically, CLM does not currently include increasing planting density, crop breeding and genetic modification, representations of tillage, or other management practices that may also affect crop‐climate and crop‐carbon cycle interactions and alter trends in yields. These results highlight the importance of including crop management in Earth system models, particularly as global data sets for parameterization and evaluation become more readily available.

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