Workpackage Landscape CO2 exchange modelling

Workpackage manager: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike TAPPEINER & Prof. Dr. John TENHUNEN

Aim of WP 5 is to estimate the annual carbon balances for five landscapes of approx. 100 km2 size, in relation to possible land-use changes resulting from contrasting policy scenarios.

Methodology / work description:

The one-dimensional, stratified core model for grassland vegetation stands described in WP 4 will be inserted into a spatial framework that allows an evaluation of annual carbon and water balances for landscapes in the Alpine study sites at Stubai Valley and Berchtesgaden, in the Appennine, at Värriö and at Polana (Carpathians). Within these landscapes (approx. 100 km2 size, 50 m pixel size) carbon balances will be related to trends in land use change resulting from contrasting policy scenarios. The landscape model will be process-based and, thus, allow for scenarios that include different vegetation types and differences in treatment or management of mountain ecosystems. The current version of the landscape model may be described as follows with respect to aggregation level and parameterisation:

  • differentiated climate – radiation depends on slope, aspect, view
  • layered canopy and soil as described for the ecosystem level model
  • differentiated vegetation – currently six landscape elements
  • differentiated phenology; influenced by topography and vegetation type
  • specific physiology in each layer of landscape/vegetation elements

In each of the five areas a GIS data base will be elaborated and carbon flux data inputs to the modelling will include results from other national and EU programmes as well as CARBOMONT. The spatial information will also be supported by multi-spectral aircraft based remote sensing data (ASPIS) which will provide high resolution mapping of land cover, LAI, phenology status, NPP. The policy scenarios being modelled will be defined by stakeholder - scientist working groups for each area. The model, implemented into a user-friendly software, will be made available to the partner teams responsible for the study sites to ensure comparable modelling results.


  • Testing and application of novel remote sensing technique (ASPIS) in selected study sites
  • Spatial data base for landscape models
  • Development and adaptation of a landscape modelling software
  • Simulations of landscape carbon balances for current and projected future land use in selected study sites


  • Landscape modelling software available
  • Remote sensing technique ASPIS tested and data available
  • Spatial data base for landscapes available
  • Land-use scenarios of landscape carbon balances