IGERT WISeNet Seminar Series

Apr 5

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Gross Hall 330


William Riley, Ph.D.

Title: Next Generation Representation of Coupled Carbon and Nutrient Dynamics in Earth System ModelsAbstract: Predicting the role of terrestrial processes in ongoing and future climate remains challenging after several decades of dedicated effort. Terrestrial ecosystems affect (and are affected by) climate through interactions with carbon, water, radiation, nutrients (e.g., nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P)), and others. These dynamics are often tightly linked, have large spatial heterogeneities, and vary over a wide range of temporal scales. Although our group works on various aspects of these problems, I will focus here on representations of nutrient dynamics in soils, microbes, and plants, and how these interactions affect carbon exchanges with the atmosphere. There is no consensus in Earth System Models (ESMs) regarding representation of nutrient competition, and theoretical support for current implementations is weak. To resolve these inconsistencies, we developed a new theory (called the Equilibrium Chemistry Approximation, ECA) based on enzyme kinetics, physical constraints, and competitor and substrate characteristics. This approach applies the Law of Mass Action and the quasi-steady-state approximation to develop a generalizable set of equations for multi-competitor and multi-consumer interactions.