A STELLA-Based Model to Simultaneously Predict Hydrological Processes, N Uptake and Biomass Production in a Eucalyptus Plantation
Eucalyptus is one of the fastest growing hardwoods for bioenergy production. Currently, few modeling tools exist to simultaneously estimate soil hydrological processes, nitrogen (N) uptake, and biomass production in a eucalyptus plantation. In this study, a STELLA (Structural Thinking and Experiential Learning Laboratory with Animation)-based model was developed to meet this need. After the model calibration and validation, a simulation scenario was developed to assess eucalyptus (E. grandis × urophylla) annual net primary production (ANPP), woody biomass production (WBP), water use efficiency (WUE), and N use efficiency (NUE) for a simulation period of 20 years. Simulation results showed that a typical annual variation pattern was predicted for water use, N uptake, and ANPP, increasing from spring to fall and decreasing from fall to the following winter. Overall, the average NUE during the growth stage was 700 kg/kg. To produce 1000 kg eucalyptus biomass, it required 114.84 m3 of water and 0.92 kg of N. This study suggests that the STELLA-based model is a useful tool to estimate ANPP, WBP, WUE, and NUE in a eucalyptus plantation.