C-TOOL: a simple model for simulating whole-profile carbon storage in temperate agricultural soils

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Taghizadeh-Toosi, A., Christensen, B. T., Hutchings, N. J., Vejlin, J., Katterer, T., Glendining, M. J. and Olesen, J. E. 2014. C-TOOL: a simple model for simulating whole-profile carbon storage in temperate agricultural soils. Ecological Modelling. 292, pp. 11-25.

AuthorsTaghizadeh-Toosi, A., Christensen, B. T., Hutchings, N. J., Vejlin, J., Katterer, T., Glendining, M. J. and Olesen, J. E.
Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is a significant component of the global carbon (C) cycle. Changes in SOC storage affect atmospheric CO2 concentrations on decadal to centennial timescales. The C-TOOL model was developed to simulate farm- and regional-scale effects of management on medium- to long-term SOC storage in the profile of well-drained agricultural mineral soils. C-TOOL uses three SOC pools for both the topsoil (0–25 cm) and the subsoil (25–100 cm), and applies temperature-dependent first order kinetics to regulate C turnover. C-TOOL also enables the simulation of 14C turnover. The simple model structure facilitates calibration and requires few inputs (mean monthly air temperature, soil clay content, soil C/N ratio and C in organic inputs). The model was parameterised using data from 19 treatments drawn from seven long-term field experiments in the United Kingdom, Sweden and Denmark. It was found that the initial SOC content had to be optimised for each experiment, but also that one set of values for other model parameters could be applied at all sites. With this set of parameters, C-TOOL can be applied more widely to evaluate effects of management options on SOC storage in temperate agricultural soils. C-TOOL simulates observed losses of SOC in soils under intensive agricultural use and the gain in SOC derived from large inputs of animal manure and inclusion of perennial grassland. The model simulates changes in SOC for the entire profile, but lack of data on subsoil SOC storage hampers a proper model evaluation. Experimental verification of management effects on subsoil C storage, subsoil C inputs from roots, and vertical transport of C in the soil profile remains prioritised research areas.

KeywordsSoil carbon storage; Modelling; C-TOOL; Agriculture; Management; Mineral soils
Year of Publication2014
JournalEcological Modelling
Journal citation292, pp. 11-25
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2014.08.016
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeThe Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments including Sample Archive and e-RA database [2012-2017]
Cropping Carbon (CC) [ISPG]
Maximising carbon retention in soils
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Sep 2014
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Aug 2014
PublisherElsevier
Elsevier Science Bv
Copyright licenseCC BY-NC-ND
ISSN0304-3800

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