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Modeling the forest ecosystem functions at the eLTER site Zöbelboden, Austria

Koukianaki Evangelia

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Year 2022
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Evangelia Koukianaki, "Modeling the forest ecosystem functions at the eLTER site Zöbelboden, Austria", Diploma Work, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2022
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In recent years, a lot of emphasis has been given to soil, its structure, functions and interactions within the Earth’s critical zone. Soil is an ecosystem that offers plenty of services such as water and nutrient transport, organic matter storage, biomass and food production, maintenance of biodiversity etc. The present thesis is a tool for analysis, modelling and simulation of the Zöbelboden forest ecosystem soil functions at the level of tree type (Picea abies).The thesis mainly aims to specify the factors that affect Gross Primary Production (GPP). The aim is achieved by using the one-dimensional Integrated Critical Zone Model (1D-ICZ) that consists of 4 sub-models (HYDRUS-1D, CAST, PROSUM, SAFE). Each sub-model has been set up and calibrated for the periods of time 2015-2019 and 1996-2020 by using the available data of the station eLTER Zöbelboden, Austria. The model has successfully simulated the biomass production of Picea abies, the nutrients uptake (C, N, K, P, Mg, Ca), the carbon fixation at the soil and the fractions of aggregates, the mass of water stable aggregates (WSA) and lastly, the solutes Ca2+, Κ+, Mg2+, Na+ και SO42⁻. Throughout the calculation of the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) it was easy to define the drought phenomena that occurred during the 25year period (1996-2020) and also, to determine 1) the effect of drought to GPP (response), 2) the effect of drought to GPP’s resilience and 3) the effect of the change of soil structure (via compost addition) to GPP.The conclusion that emerged from this study is that drought is directly linked to GPP. More specifically, as the severity of drought increases so does the GPP’s response and so does the GPP’s resilience. The compost addition has infinitesimally increased the Gross Primary Production (GPP) and Water Use Efficiency (WUE), while no changes in soil moisture were noticed. On the contrary, due to compost addition the fixated organic carbon and the water stable macro-aggregates (AC3) have been increased.

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