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Paul Miller. Photo.

Paul Miller

Senior lecturer

Paul Miller. Photo.

A comprehensive evaluation of hydrological processes in a second-generation dynamic vegetation model


  • Hao Zhou
  • Jing Tang
  • Stefan Olin
  • Paul A. Miller

Summary, in English

The global water and carbon cycles are greatly influenced by terrestrial vegetation, making trustworthy representations of dynamic biosphere–hydrosphere interactions a crucial component of both ecosystem and climate models. This paper comprehensively evaluates the hydrological performance of a leading dynamic global vegetation model Lund-Potsdam-Jena General Ecosystem Simulator (LPJ-GUESS), using a broad range of the latest available global observation-based gridded datasets that cover the main components of the hydrological cycle. Overall, we find that the hydrological components modelled by LPJ-GUESS agree well with global gridded datasets of runoff, evapotranspiration and surface soil moisture, though there are discrepancies in some regions and periods. Furthermore, LPJ-GUESS accurately captures both inter- and intra-annual variations of runoff in most regions and catchment areas, including the Danube, Murray, Yangtze, Yenisei and Nile basins. Total evapotranspiration modelled by LPJ-GUESS agrees closely with the evapotranspiration estimates of the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model and PML-V2 datasets, but with some disagreement in the individual components, especially for evaporation. The surface soil moisture simulated by LPJ-GUESS aligns with ESA-CCI (v5.3) surface soil moisture datasets in most regions, with greatest discrepancies in subarctic areas. We attribute these discrepancies to two main sources: (1) absent or poor representation of processes such as river routing, storage and supply of water bodies, and cropland irrigation; and (2) uncertainties in both reference datasets and input to the model, including precipitation, soil texture, and land use.


  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • LTH Profile Area: Aerosols
  • LU Profile Area: Nature-based future solutions
  • eSSENCE: The e-Science Collaboration
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)

Publishing year





Hydrological Processes





Document type

Journal article


John Wiley & Sons Inc.


  • Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources


  • dynamic global vegetation model
  • evapotranspiration
  • hydrological processes evaluation
  • observation-based global gridded datasets
  • runoff
  • surface soil moisture




  • ISSN: 0885-6087