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Year of publication: 2003
MuSICA - An ecosystem-scale model of the exchanges of energy, water and trace gases
An ecosystem-scale model of the exchanges of energy, water and trace gases (inc. the stable isotopes of water and CO2) between the soil, vegetation components and the atmosphere, specifically adapted to evaluate the impact of vertical structure of vegetation and soil on these exchanges and the associated local microclimate


Jerome Ogee, INRAE, France; Matthias Cuntz, INRAE, France; Rémi Patin, INRAE, France





MuSICA has been primarily developed to simulate the exchanges of mass (water, CO2 or other trace gases) and energy in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere continuum. It assumes the terrain to be relatively flat and the vegetation horizontally homogeneous. Several species can share a common soil and are then discretised into several vegetation layers (typically 10-15) where several species can cohabit, several leaf types (sunlit/shaded, wet/dry) for each cohort and species (up to 3 annual cohorts per species) and several soil layers. Stand structure is therefore explicitly accounted for and competition for light and water between species can be explored. The model typically produces output at a 30-min time step and can be run over multiple years or decades as long as the vegetation structure is given. So far, it has been tested mostly on forest ecosystems in Europe and the US but also on crops and grasslands. Model written in Fortran90 with Python and/or R scripts for I/O management. Output format in NetCDF.


Scientific articles

Ogée, J., Brunet, Y., Loustau, D., Berbigier, P., and Delzon, S.: MuSICA, a CO2, water and energy multilayer, multileaf pine forest model: evaluation from hourly to yearly time scales and sensitivity analysis, Global Change Biol, 9, 697–717, 2003.

Domec, J. C., Ogée, J., Noormets, A., Jouangy, J., Gavazzi, M., Treasure, E. A., Sun, G., McNulty, S. G., and King, J. S.: Interactive effects of nocturnal transpiration and climate change on the root hydraulic redistribution and carbon and water budgets of southern United States pine plantations, Tree Physiology, 32, 707–723,, 2012.

Klein, T., Rotenberg, E., Cohen-Hilaleh, E., Raz-Yaseef, N., Tatarinov, F., Preisler, Y., Ogée, J., Cohen, S., and Yakir, D.: Quantifying transpirable soil water and its relations to tree water use dynamics in a water-limited pine forest, Ecohydrology, 7, 409–419,, 2014.

Technical information

Operating system(s): Windows/Linux

Code Language: FORTRAN input/output written in Python 3

Licence: MuSICA is intellectual property of INRA, 147 rue de l’Université, 75338 Paris Cedex 07, under the inter deposit digital number IDDN.FR.001.200002.000.R.P.2011.000.31235. It is distributed under a CC-BY-NC licence type

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