We develop and evaluate a large-scale dynamic vegetation model, TEM-LPJ, which considers interactions among water, light and nitrogen in simulating ecosystem function and structure. We parameterized the model for three plant functional types (PFTs): a temperate deciduous forest, a temperate coniferous forest, and a temperate C3 grassland. Model parameters were determined using data from forest stands at the Harvard Forest in Massachusetts. Applications of the model reasonably simulated stand development over 120 yr for Populus tremuloides in Wisconsin and for Pinus elliottii in Florida. Our evaluation of tree-grass interactions simulated by the model indicated that competition for light led to dominance by the deciduous forest PFT in moist regions of eastern United States and that water competition led to dominance by the grass PFT in dry regions of the central United States. Along a moisture transect at 41.5° N in the eastern United States, simulations by TEM-LPJ reproduced the composition of potential temperate deciduous forest, temperate savanna, and C3 grassland located along the transect.
Abbreviations: DGVM = Dynamic global vegetation models; LPJ = Lund-Potsdam-Jena; TEM = Terrestrial Ecosystem Model; VEMAP = Vegetation Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project; WBM = Water Balance Model.