Articles | Volume 18, issue 20
Biogeosciences, 18, 5669–5679, 2021
Biogeosciences, 18, 5669–5679, 2021

Research article 21 Oct 2021

Research article | 21 Oct 2021

Theoretical insights from upscaling Michaelis–Menten microbial dynamics in biogeochemical models: a dimensionless approach

Chris H. Wilson and Stefan Gerber

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Cited articles

Blankinship, J. C. and Schimel, J. P.: Biotic versus Abiotic Controls on Bioavailable Soil Organic Carbon, Soil Systems, 2, 10,, 2018. 
Blankinship, J. C., Berhe, A. A., Crow, S. E., Druhan, J. L., Heckman, K. A., Keiluweit, M., Lawrence, C. R., Marín-Spiotta, E., Plante, A. F., Rasmussen, C., Schädel, C., Schimel, J. P., Sierra, C. A., Thompson, A., Wagai, R., and Wieder, W. R.: Improving understanding of soil organic matter dynamics by triangulating theories, measurements, and models, Biogeochemistry, 140, 1–13,, 2018. 
Bradford, M. A., Wood, S. A., Addicott, E. T., Fenichel, E. P., Fields, N., González-Rivero, J., Jevon, F. V., Maynard, D. S., Oldfield, E. E., Polussa, A., Ward, E. B., and Wieder, W. R.: Quantifying microbial control of soil organic matter dynamics at macrosystem scales, Biogeochemistry, 156, 19–40,, 2021. 
Buchkowski, R. W., Bradford, M. A., Grandy, A. S., Schmitz, O. J., and Wieder, W. R.: Applying population and community ecology theory to advance understanding of belowground biogeochemistry, Ecol. Lett., 20, 231–245,, 2017. 
Chakrawal, A., Herrmann, A. M., Koestel, J., Jarsjö, J., Nunan, N., Kätterer, T., and Manzoni, S.: Dynamic upscaling of decomposition kinetics for carbon cycling models, Geosci. Model Dev., 13, 1399–1429,, 2020. 
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To better mitigate against climate change, it is imperative that ecosystem scientists understand how microbes decompose organic carbon in the soil and thereby release it as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A major challenge is the high variability across ecosystems in microbial biomass and in the environmental factors like temperature that drive their activity. In this paper, we use math to better understand how this variability impacts carbon dioxide release over large scales.
Final-revised paper