The EMERALD project

An Overview

Scientific synthesis and the development of state-of-the-art terrestrial ecosystem models means now, more than ever, research communication and collaboration between on the ground ecologists, and modellers is critical. 

Our aim within the EMERALD project is to integrate the perspectives of both researchers developing ecological theory, and collecting insights from the field, with those seeking to parameterise these relationships in order to predict the interactions between climate and terrestrial ecosystem function in Earth System Models (ESMs) – in particular in the currently under-represented high latitude ecosystems.

Integration of the Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator with Community Land Model (CLM-FATES) in Galaxy

CTSM-FATES is a terrestrial ecosystem model that represent various biophysical and biochemical processes of vegetation and considers how they link to atmospheric and hydrological components of earth system models.

The complexity of CTSM-FATES, can mean it is a “black box” for many ecological specialists, preventing them from providing useful insights or data which can improve the model.

We’re developing a GALAXY interface for the FATES model, to increase the accessibility of CTSM-FATES to the broader community and to facilitate interlinking top-down and bottom-up approaches for further developing the FATES. 

The GALAXY interface is also part of a broader initiative to increase transparency and reproducibility within the land surface modelling process – looking to the FAIR practices. 

What about the mosses and lichens?

Within high-latitude systems, mosses and lichens can play a fundamental role in regulating the fluxes of energy, carbon and water, yet they’re less well represented in current models of vegetation within earth system models.

In a cross-disciplinary effort, we’re exploring how to best represent mosses and lichens characteristics, including how to account for factors distinguishing them from vascular plants. For example, with no stomatal control, how to model water exchange between the vegetation and air? What influence do they have on latent heat flux, soil moisture conditions or other key ecosystem processes across? And do these relationships vary from boreal forests to northern tundra ecosystems?