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Modelling long term carbon and radiocarbon development

Petersen, B.M.; Berntsen, J.; Jensen, L.S. and Hansen, S. (2003) Modelling long term carbon and radiocarbon development. In: Abstracts for the 12th N workshop. 21-24 September, 2003 Exeter, Devon, UK.

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In order to achieve predictive abilities for both short- and long-term simulations, SOM models should be developed on the basis of as large and diverse a data-set as possible. Many soil organic matter (SOM) models have parameters, where the criteria for estimating their values do not seem transparent, and few have been subject to a formal sensitivity analysis regarding the influence of parameter settings. One of the major problems in most SOM models is to estimate the soil content of very slowly decomposing or perhaps even inert organic matter ("refractory" SOM).
In view of these possible limitations of present SOM models, the following model development criteria were chosen for this study: 1) use of a comprehensive data-set from both laboratory and field experiments, 2) inclusion of field experiments from several locations, 3) utilisation of C and N isotope information, 4) model parameters estimated by utilising non-linear optimisation methods, 5) assessment of parameter confidence intervals, 6) test of model parameter sensitivity and 7) validation with independent data.
The novel model CN-SIM (Petersen et al., 2003a; Petersen et al., 2003b) describes the flow of C and N in the soil.
The IOM pool may represent both truly inert matter, and matter with a very slow turnover. Parameters relating to long-term turnover are estimated on the basis of selected C and 14C field data from the U.K., Sweden and Denmark. Statistical methods were employed to estimate parameters, and obtain proximate confidence intervals for these parameters. Cross-validation was used to assess how the model performed on data not used for parameterisation. The parameters for water, temperature and clay responses were all taken from the literature. In addition to these, 10 parameters were estimated by optimisation on the basis of both laboratory- and field-data.
Four previously unpublished radiocarbon data series from the long-term experiments at Askov Experimental Station were modelled, including two bare fallow treatments. These series all started in the 1950s, including “pre-bomb” measurements.
Simulations in generally good agreement with measured values were achieved, using the same set of parameters on all sites.
It was demonstrated (Fig. 4) that the inert (refractory) pool might constitute any amount between approximately 10 to 50% of total SOC, showing that modelling cannot be used as a tool to give narrow estimates for this pool.
The utilised error function only rises slightly when data from a given country is either in- or excluded from the cross-validation, which indicates that data from any two out of the three countries provide sufficient data for parameter estimates, that have valuable predictive value for data from the third country (Table 1).
Results from bare fallow experiments have served to parameterise SOM models, utilising their assumed “pure” decay. The present study questions the validity of the common assumption of literally no C input to bare fallow, as the radiocarbon series indicate input levels in the order of 1 t C ha-1 y-1. These findings may affect future parameterisation of SOM models.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > I. 3 (BIOMOD) Interaction between nitrogen dynamics, crop production and biodiversity
Deposited By: Petersen, Researcher Bjorn Molt
ID Code:4660
Deposited On:30 Mar 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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