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Compendium on methods and tools to evaluate impacts of, and vulnerability and adaptation to, climate change


MC1 consists of three linked modules simulating biogeography, biogeochemistry, and fire disturbance. The main functions of the biogeography module are to:

  1. Predict the composition of deciduous/evergreen tree and C3/C4 grass lifeform mixtures,
  2. Classify the predicted biomass from the biogeochemistry module into different vegetation classes.

The biogeochemistry module simulates monthly carbon and nutrient dynamics for a given ecosystem. Above- and below-ground processes are modeled in detail, and include plant production, soil organic matter decomposition, and water and nutrient cycling. Parameterization of this module is based on the lifeform composition of the ecosystems, which is updated annually by the biogeography module.

Appropriate Use Climate change effects on vegetation changes
Scope Regional to global
Key Output Vegetation structure, fire events, plant productivity, vegetation carbon, soil carbon and nitrogen, evapotranspiration.
Key Input Monthly precipitation, mean monthly average minimum and maximum temperatures, vapor pressure, wind speed, solar radiation, soil depth, soil texture, bulk density.
Ease of Use Ecosystem and vegetation science expertise
Training Required Yes
Training Available See Contacts
Computer Requirements Linux cluster or multiple processor
Documentation pdf-icon

Regional to global applications

Contacts for Framework, Documentation, Technical Assistance

Ronald P. Neilson

BioClimatologist, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory, 3200 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, OR 97331 USA; Tel: 541.750.7303; e-mail:

Cost Depends on the application

Bachelet, D., J.M. Lenihan, C. Daly, and R.P. Neilson. 2000. Climate, fire and grazing effects at Wind Cave National Park, SD. Ecological Modelling 134(2-3):229-244.

Bachelet, D., J.M. Lenihan, C. Daly, R.P. Neilson, D.S. Ojima, and W.J. Parton. 2001. MC1. A dynamic vegetation model for estimating the distribution of vegetation and associated ecosystem fluxes of carbon, nutrients and water. Technical Documentation Version 1.0. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-508. Corvallis, OR. USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Daly, C., D. Bachelet, J.M. Lenihan, R.P. Neilson, W.J. Parton, and D. Ojima. 2000. Dynamic simulation of tree-grass interactions for global change studies. Ecological Applications 10(2):449-469.

Lenihan, J.M., C. Daly, D. Bachelet, and R.P. Neilson. 1998. Simulating broad-scale fire severity in a dynamic global vegetation model. Northwest Science 72:91-103.