Terrestrial biosphere models show large differences when simulating carbon and water cycles, and reducing these differences is a priority for developing more accurate estimates of the condition of terrestrial ecosystems and future climate change. To reduce uncertainties and improve the understanding of their carbon budgets, we investigated the utility of the eddy flux datasets to improve model simulations and reduce variabilities among multi-model outputs of terrestrial biosphere models in Japan. Using 9 terrestrial biosphere models (Support Vector Machine - based regressions, TOPS, CASA, VISIT, Biome-BGC, DAYCENT, SEIB, LPJ, and TRIFFID), we conducted two simulations: (1) point simulations at four eddy flux sites in Japan and (2) spatial simulations for Japan with a default model (based on original settings) and a modified model (based on model parameter tuning using eddy flux data). Generally, models using default model settings showed large deviations in model outputs from observation with large model-by-model variability. However, after we calibrated the model parameters using eddy flux data (GPP, RE and NEP), most models successfully simulated seasonal variations in the carbon cycle, with less variability among models. We also found that interannual variations in the carbon cycle are mostly consistent among models and observations. Spatial analysis also showed a large reduction in the variability among model outputs. This study demonstrated that careful validation and calibration of models with available eddy flux data reduced model-by-model differences. Yet, site history, analysis of model structure changes, and more objective procedure of model calibration should be included in the further analysis.
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