Coupling scales in process-based soil organic carbon modeling including dynamic aggregation

Zech S, Prechtel A, Ray N (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


DOI: 10.1002/jpln.202300080


Background: Carbon storage and turnover in soils depend on the interplay of soil architecture, microbial activities, and soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics. For a fundamental understanding of the mechanisms that drive these processes, not only the exploitation of advanced experimental techniques down to the nanoscale is necessary but also spatially explicit and dynamic image-based modeling at the pore scale. Aim: We present a modeling approach that is capable of transferring microscale information into macroscale simulations at the profile scale. This enables the prediction of future developments of carbon fluxes and the impact of changes in the environmental conditions linking scales. Method: We consider a mathematical model for CO2 transport across soil profiles (macroscale), which is informed by a pore-scale (microscale) model for C turnover. It allows for the dynamic, self-organized re-arrangement of solid building units, aggregates and particulate organic matter (POM) based on surface interactions, realized by a cellular automaton method, and explicitly takes spatial effects on POM turnover such as occlusion into account. We further include the macroscopic environmental conditions water saturation, POM content, and oxygen concentration. Results: The coupled simulations of macroscopic transport and pore-scale carbon and aggregate turnover reveal the complex, nonlinear interplay of the underlying processes. Limitations by diffusive transport, oxygen availability, texture-dependent occlusion and turnover of OM drive CO2 production and carbon storage. Conclusions: This emphasizes the need for such micro–macro models exchanging information on different scales to investigate and quantify the effects of structural changes, variations in environmental conditions, or degradation processes on carbon turnover.

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Zech, S., Prechtel, A., & Ray, N. (2024). Coupling scales in process-based soil organic carbon modeling including dynamic aggregation. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science.


Zech, Simon, Alexander Prechtel, and Nadja Ray. "Coupling scales in process-based soil organic carbon modeling including dynamic aggregation." Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science (2024).

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