LPJ-GUESS Ecosystem Model We adopted LPJ-GUESS (Smith et al. 2001; other refs), a dynamic vegetation model (DVM) optimised for regional to global applications, as the ecosystem model for our study. Vegetation dynamics are simulated as the emergent outcome of growth and competition for light, space and soil resources among woody plant individuals and a herbaceous understorey in each of a number (NN in this study) of replicate patches representing ‘random samples’ of each simulated locality or grid cell. Multiple patches are simulated to account for the distribution within a landscape representative of the grid cell as a whole of vegetation stands differing in their histories of disturbance and stand development (succession). The simulated plants are classified into one of a number of plant functional types (PFTs) discriminated by growth form, phenology, photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4), bioclimatic limits for establishment and survival and, for woody PFTs, allometry and life history strategy (see Table NN). The simulations of this study were carried out in ‘cohort mode,’ in which, for woody PFTs, cohorts of individuals recruited in the same patch in a given year are represented by a single average individual, and are thus assumed to retain the same size and form as they grow. Primary production and plant growth follow the approach of LPJ-DGVM (Sitch et al. 2003). Canopy fluxes of carbon dioxide and water vapour are calculated by a coupled photosynthesis and stomatal conductance scheme based on the approach of BIOME3 (Haxeltine & Prentice 1996). The net primary production (NPP) accrued by an average individual plant each simulation year is allocated to leaves, fine roots and, for woody PFTs, sapwood, following a set of prescribed allometric relationships for each PFT, resulting in biomass, height and diameter growth (Sitch et al. 2003). Population dynamics (recruitment and mortality) are represented as stochastic processes, influenced by current resource status, demography and the life history characteristics of each PFT (Hickler et al. 2004). Biomass-destroying disturbances are simulated as a stochastic process, affecting individual patches with an expectation of 0.01 yr−1. In addition, wildfires are modelled prognostically based on temperature, fuel (litter) load and moisture (Thonicke et al. 2001). Litter arising from phenological turnover, mortality and disturbances enters the soil decomposition cycle. Decomposition rates of litter and two soil organic matter (SOM) pools depend on soil temperature and moisture (Sitch et al. 2003). Soil hydrology follows Gerten et al. (2004). A detailed description of LPJ-GUESS is available in Smith et al. (2001). We used LPJ-GUESS version 2.1 which includes the PFT set and modifications described in Ahlström et al. (2012). Cited references Ahlström, A., Schurgers, G., Arneth, A. & Smith, B. 2012. Robustness and uncertainty in terrestrial ecosystem carbon response to CMIP5 climate change projections. Environmental Research Letters 7: 044008. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044008. Gerten, D., Schaphoff, S., Haberlandt, W., Lucht, W. & Sitch, S. 2004. Terrestrial vegetation and water balance—hydrological evaluation of a dynamic global vegetation model. Journal of Hydrology 286: 249-270. Haxeltine, A. & Prentice, I.C. 1996. BIOME3: An equilibrium terrestrial biosphere model based on ecophysiological constraints, resource availability, and competition among plant functional types. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 10: 693-709. Hickler, T., Smith, B., Sykes, M.T., Davis, M.B., Sugita, S. & Walker, K. 2004. Using a generalized vegetation model to simulate vegetation dynamics in the western Great Lakes region, USA, under alternative disturbance regimes. Ecology 85: 519-530. Sitch, S., Smith, B., Prentice, I.C., Arneth, A., Bondeau, A., Cramer, W., Kaplan, J., Levis, S., Lucht, W., Sykes, M., Thonicke, K. & Venevsky, S. 2003. Evaluation of ecosystem dynamics, plant geography and terrestrial carbon cycling in the LPJ Dynamic Global Vegetation Model. Global Change Biology 9: 161-185. Smith, B., Prentice, I.C. & Sykes, M.T. 2001. Representation of vegetation dynamics in the modelling of terrestrial ecosystems: comparing two contrasting approaches within European climate space. Global Ecology & Biogeography 10: 621-637. Thonicke, K., Venevsky, S., Sitch, S. & Cramer, W. 2001. The role of fire disturbance for global vegetation dynamics: coupling fire into a Dynamic Global Vegetation Model. Global Ecology & Biogeography 10: 661-677.