Comparison of measured and modelled soil organic carbon for a northern European long-term experiment site

Balázs Grosz, Rene Dechow


Soil organic carbon is a key variable with regard to soil fertility influencing yield and yield security of agricultural crop production by regulating water budget and nutrient cycling. Those services might become even more relevant with respect to climate change. The sensitivity of crop yields on soil organic carbon content is influenced by site-specific conditions. To assess future vulnerability of yield security with respect to soil organic carbon contents in European croplands soil-crop models must consider the interaction of SOC and crop growth. Long term experiments that include treatments which lead to variable soil organic carbon contents can provide information on those relationships. Because the effect of soil fertility functions supported by SOC depends on a range of natural and anthropogenic factors we used various long term experiments in Sweden and Germany to evaluate the model CENTURY4.6. Thereafter we examined the impact of SOC on crop yields on site level by scenario runs modifying initial SOC levels and weather conditions. Preliminary results show differences in the modeled and observed soil organic carbon values for a range of observed long term experiments. The difference between modelled and measured of SOC stocks is up to 30% after 56 years. Overall, The use of the default values and setting were not appropriate to derive acceptable results, so the adjustment of some model parameter are required.

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