Simulating Second-generation Herbaceous Bioenergy Crop Yield Using The Global Hydrological Model H08 (v.bio1)
Abstract. Large-scale deployment of bioenergy plantations would have adverse effects on water resources. There is an increasing need to ensure the appropriate inclusion of the bioenergy crops in global hydrological models. Here, through parameter calibration and algorithm improvement, we enhanced the global hydrological model H08 to simulate the bioenergy yield from two dedicated herbaceous bioenergy crops: Miscanthus and switchgrass. Site-specific evaluations showed that the enhanced model had the ability to simulate yield for both Miscanthus and switchgrass, with the calibrated yields being well within the ranges of the observed yield. Independent country-specific evaluations further confirmed the performance of the H08 (v.bio1). Using this improved model, we found that unconstrained irrigation more than doubled the yield under rainfed condition, but reduced the water use efficiency (WUE) by 32 % globally. With irrigation, the yield in dry climate zones can exceed the rainfed yields in tropical climate zones. Nevertheless, due to the low water consumption in tropical areas, the highest WUE was found in tropical climate zones, regardless of whether the crop was irrigated. Our enhanced model provides a new tool for the future assessment of bioenergy–water tradeoffs.