This study evaluates the performances of the new version (v.5.1) of 3D-CMCC Forest Ecosystem Model (FEM) in simulating gross primary productivity (GPP), against eddy covariance GPP data for 10 FLUXNET forest sites across Europe. A new carbon allocation module, coupled with new both phenological and autotrophic respiration schemes, was implemented in this new daily version. Model ability in reproducing timing and magnitude of daily and monthly GPP fluctuations is validated at intra-annual and inter-annual scale, including extreme anomalous seasons. With the purpose to test the 3D-CMCC FEM applicability over Europe without a site-related calibration, the model has been deliberately parametrized with a single set of species-specific parametrizations for each forest ecosystem. The model consistently reproduces both in timing and in magnitude daily and monthly GPP variability across all sites, with the exception of the two Mediterranean sites. We find that 3D-CMCC FEM tends to better simulate the timing of inter-annual anomalies than their magnitude within measurements' uncertainty. In six of eight sites where data are available, the model well reproduces the 2003 summer drought event. Finally, for three sites we evaluate whether a more accurate representation of forest structural characteristics (i.e. cohorts, forest layers) and species composition can improve model results. In two of the three sites results reveal that model slightly increases its performances although, statistically speaking, not in a relevant way.
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.