Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-493
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-493

  07 Jan 2021

07 Jan 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG.

Simulating measurable ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics with the mechanistically-defined MEMS 2.0 model

Yao Zhang1, Jocelyn M. Lavallee1,2, Andy D. Robertson3, Rebecca Even2, Stephen M. Ogle1,4, Keith Paustian1,2, and M. Francesca Cotrufo1,2 Yao Zhang et al.
  • 1Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
  • 2Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
  • 3Shell International Exploration and Production, Shell Technology Center Houston, 3333 Highway 6 South, Houston, TX 77082-3101, USA
  • 4Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

Abstract. For decades, predominant soil biogeochemical models have used conceptual soil organic matter (SOM) pools and only simulated them to a shallow depth in soil. Efforts to overcome these limitations have prompted the development of new generation SOM models, including MEMS 1.0, which represents measurable biophysical SOM fractions, over the entire root zone, and embodies recent understanding of the processes that govern SOM dynamics. Here we present the result of continued development of the MEMS model, version 2.0. MEMS 2.0 is a full ecosystem model with modules simulating plant growth with above and below-ground inputs, soil water, and temperature by layer, decomposition of plant inputs and SOM, and mineralization and immobilization of nitrogen (N). The model simulates two commonly measured SOM pools – particulate and mineral-associated organic matter (POM and MAOM), respectively. We present results of calibration and validation of the model with several grassland sites in the U.S. MEMS 2.0 generally captured the soil carbon (C) stocks (R2 of 0.89 and 0.6 for calibration and validation, respectively) and their distributions between POM and MAOM throughout the entire soil profile. The simulated soil N matches measurements but with lower accuracy (R2 of 0.73 and 0.31 for calibration and validation of total N in SOM, respectively) than for soil C. Simulated soil water and temperature were compared with measurements and the accuracy is comparable to the other commonly used models. The seasonal variation in gross primary production (GPP; R2 = 0.83), ecosystem respiration (ER; R2 = 0.89), net ecosystem exchange (NEE; R2 = 0.67), and evapotranspiration (ET; R2 = 0.71) were well captured by the model. We will further develop the model to represent forest and agricultural systems and improve it to incorporate new understanding of SOM decomposition.

Yao Zhang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2020-493', Jianqiu Zheng, 30 Jan 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', yao zhang, 15 Feb 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2020-493', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Feb 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', yao zhang, 15 Feb 2021

Yao Zhang et al.

Data sets

Data for manuscript of "Simulating measurable ecosystem carbon and nitrogen dynamics with the mechanistically-defined MEMS 2.0 model" Zhang, Yao, Lavallee, Jocelyn, Robertson, Andy, Even, Rebecca, Ogle, Stephen, Paustian, Keith, and Cotrufo, Francesca https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4404685

Yao Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Soil organic matter (SOM) is essential for the health of soils and the accumulation of SOM helps removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Here we present the result of the continued development of a mathematical model that simulates SOM and its measurable fractions. In this study, we simulated serval grassland sites in the U.S. and the model generally captured the carbon and nitrogen amounts in SOM and their distribution between the measurable fractions throughout the entire soil profile.
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