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The Biome-BGC ESI - Ecosystem Service Indicators workflow executes a Biome-BGC single simulation. Two versions of the model were implemented and can be selected in the workflow: Biome-BGC 4.1.1 MPI or Biome-BGC MuSo 3.0. As the supply of ecosystem services is based on biophysical processes, well-calibrated ’in silico’ ecosystem models can be an appropriate tool to quantify some meaningful but hard-to-measure ecosystem service indicators (ESI).

Provisioning ESI's:

  • annual wood production (WOOD)
  • yearly maximum of grass production (GRASS) 

Regulating ESI's:

  • annual net primary production (ANPP)
  • total average carbon stock, including soil carbon (TACS) – as global climate regulation ESI
  • annual evapotranspiration (AET) – as micro and regional scale climate regulation ESI by energy absorption
  • average live biomass: proxy for cleansing potential (PURIF) – as regulation ESI, mediation by ecosystems
  • damping of ecosystem on daily water outflow daily output (DESDWO) – as hydrological cycle and water flow maintenance ESI
  • humification in the soil (HUMIF) – as soil formation and composition maintenance ESI
  • sum of living and dead biomass protecting the soil against erosion (SOILPROT) – as mass stabilization and control of erosion rates ESI
  • litter and coarse woody debris annual decomposition rate (DECOMP) – as weathering processes ESI.

Using these indicators in ecosystem simulations, different climate or land use scenarios can be applied and compared. The calculation of ESI’s are based on indicator specific algorithms and aggregation functions of internal pool and flux variables of the model.    

Requirements: when running on Taverna workbench, this workflow requires Internet connection and the Taverna interaction plugin installed.


Name of the workflow and its myExperiment identifier

Name:  Biome-BGC ESI - Ecosystem Service Indicators

The workflow pack can be downloaded from myExperiment (workflow 3682)

Date, version and licensing

Last updated: 08/12/2013

Version: 1.0

Licensing: Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike CC-BY- SA

How to cite this workflow

To report work that has made use of this workflow, please add the following credit acknowledgement to your research publication:

The concept and the implemented algorithms of Biome-BGC based Ecosystem Services Indicators; the Biome-BGC ESI workflow and the Biome-BGC Projects Database & Management System calculating ESI's were constructed within the frame of the BioVeL project (Biodiversity Virtual e-Laboratory Project, FP7-Infrastructures-2011-2, project number 283359). 


Ecosystem modelling; ecosystem service indicator;

Scientific workflow description

All input files and settings (METDATA, EPC, CO2, NDEP, SITE/SOIL, OU CONTROL) has to be prepared and uploaded to the Biome-BGC Projects Database & Management System (BBGCDB) prior to selecting SPINUP and NORMAL INI files and launching the workflow. As the first step, It is required to register/login to use the BBGCDB and manage all files and settings. The workflow asks input settings and selections through "interaction pages", then creates and launches a BBGCDB project (spinup and pipelined normal) simulation run. All the results of a simulation run will be packed and saved to the BBGCDB project record for downloading and further evaluation.

Key steps in the workflow

  1. Registration/log in to the website of Biome-BGC Projects Database & Management System

  2. Preparation and arrangement of all the initialization, input files and settings on the Biome-BGC Projects Database & Management System

  3. Launch and run the workflow, which starts with an interaction page to ask for pre-prepared SPINUP and NORMAL INI "files". The model performs the simulation, then calculates the ecosystem service indicators (ESIs) and saves the results to the database.

  4. Detailed results can be downloaded from the database for further evaluation.

Key references

Hidy, D., Barcza, Z., Haszpra, L., Churkina, G., Pintér, K., Nagy, Z. (2012): Development of the Biome-BGC model for simulation of managed herbaceous ecosystems. Ecological Modelling, 226, 99-119. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2011.11.008;

Hidy, D. and Z. Barcza (2014): User’s Guide for Biome-BGC MuSo v3.0, Manuscript - revision: 9 September 2014, pp. 43.  

Horváth, F., Ittzés, P., Ittzés, D., Barcza, Z., Dobor, L., Hidy, D., Marosi, A. and Hardisty, A. (2014). Supporting environmental modelling with Taverna workflows, web services and desktop grid technology. 8 pp. In D. P. Ames, N. W. T. Quinn, & A. E. Rizzoli (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, June 15-19, San Diego, California, USA. San Diego. 

Thornton, P. E., S. W. Running, and E. R. Hunt, Jr. 2005. Biome-BGC: Terrestrial Ecosystem Process Model, Version 4.1.1. Model product. Available on-line []

Trusilova, K., Trembath, J., Churkina, G., 2009. Parameter estimation and validation of the terrestrial ecosystem model Biome-BGC using Eddy-covariance flux measurements - Technical Reports 16. Max-Planck-Institute für Biogeochemie.

DEMO presentation

See this powerpoint demonstration attached: Biome-BGC ESI DEMO.

Technical specifications

The workflow has been developed to be run in the Taverna automated workflow environment. In its current form, the workflow file (with the .t2flow extension) can be loaded and executed in the workbench variant of Taverna. It has been tested with Taverna Workbench version 2.4. The workflow can also be run in BioVeL Portal, which is a light-weight user interface, that allows browsing, reviewing and running Taverna Workflows without the need of installing any software.