Evaluation of an integrated biogeochemical model (PnET-BGC) at a northern hardwood forest ecosystem

Solomon S. Gbondo-Tugbawa, Charles T. Driscoll, John D. Aber, Gene E. Likens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


An integrated biogeochemical model (PnET-BGC) was formulated to simulate chemical transformations of vegetation, soil, and drainage water in northern forest ecosystems. The model operates on a monthly time step and depicts the major biogeochemical processes, such as forest canopy element transformations, hydrology, soil organic matter dynamics, nitrogen cycling, geochemical weathering, and chemical equilibrium reactions involving solid and solution phases. The model was evaluated against soil and stream data at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire. Model predictions of concentrations and fluxes of major elements generally agreed reasonably well with measured values, as estimated by normalized mean error and normalized mean absolute error. Model output of soil base saturation and stream acid neutralizing capacity were sensitive to parameter values of soil partial pressure of carbon dioxide, soil mass, soil cation exchange capacity, and soil selectivity coefficients of calcium and aluminum. PnET-BGC can be used as a tool to evaluate the response of soil and water chemistry of forest ecosystems to disturbances such as clear-cutting, climatic events, and atmospheric deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1070
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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