About the models

These two models allow us to explore many aspects of the function, environmental impact, and sustainability of managed temperate grassland (HPM) or temperate forest (EFM) ecosystems in a current and future climate. They cover both the C and N cycles; include a plant-water balance sub-model, and account for ‘rates’ (inputs, outputs) and the resulting ‘states’ of C, N and water fluxes through plants, animals and soils from a time scale of within-day (diurnal), to centuries.

The models are the culmination of decades of research by Dr JHM (John) Thornley, with many contributions from Dr AJ (Tony) Parsons (for HPM) and Dr MGH (Melvin) Cannell (for EFM). They combine the collected wealth of knowledge of colleagues, expert in plants, animals and soils, at the Grassland Research Institute (BBSRC, Hurley) and the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology (NERC, Edinburgh), in the UK; and through multiple international collaborations.

The ‘HPM’ has been extensively updated recently and is currently used in projects co-ordinated by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC) aimed at meeting the challenge of balancing sustainable food production with its environmental impacts and emissions.

The models are hosted at Massey University, New Zealand, where AJ Parsons has been Professor of Grassland Science, and Dr John Thornley (based in UK) is a Distinguished Fellow.

Running a simulation

Tony Parsons and John Thornley have up-to-date (2018) computer set-ups that are capable of running the models as they stand. Unfortunately, various components of the software packages required to compile and run the model are no longer supported by the original vendors, so setting up your own environment to run the models is challenging (but is not impossible).

See the technical details section for information.