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Evaluating stomatal ozone fluxes in WRF-Chem: Comparing ozone uptake in Mediterranean ecosystems

Johanne Hope Rydsaa, Frode Stordal, Giacomo Gerosa, Angelo Finco, Øivind Hodnebrog

The development of modelling tools for estimating stomatal uptake of surface ozone in vegetation is important for the assessment of potential damage induced due to both current and future near surface ozone concentrations. In this study, we investigate the skill in estimating ozone uptake in plants by the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) V3.6.1, with the Wesely dry deposition scheme. To validate the stomatal uptake of ozone, the model simulations were compared with field measurements of three types of Mediterranean vegetation, over seven different periods representing various meteorological conditions. Some systematic biases in modelled ozone fluxes are revealed; the lack of an explicit and time varying dependency on plants’ water availability results in overestimated daytime ozone stomatal fluxes particularly in dry periods. The optimal temperature in the temperature response function is likely too low for the woody species tested here. Also, too low nighttime stomatal conductance leads to underestimation of ozone uptake during night. We demonstrate that modelled stomatal ozone flux is improved by accounting for vapor pressure deficit in the ambient air. Based on the results of the overall comparison to measured fluxes, we propose that additional improvements to the stomatal conductance parameterization should be implemented before applying the modelling system for estimating ozone doses and potential damage to vegetation.

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