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Estimating changes in Scottish soil carbon stocks using ECOSSE. I. Model description and uncertainties

Smith, Jo; Gottschalk, Pia; Bellarby, Jessica; Chapman, Stephen; Lilly, Allan; Towers, Willie; Bell, John; Coleman, Kevin; Nayak, Dali; Richards, Mark; Hillier, Jon; Flynn, Helen; Wattenbach, Martin; Aitkenhead, Matt; Yeluripati, Jagadeesh; Farmer, Jenny; Milne, Ronnie; Thomson, Amanda; Evans, Chris; Whitmore, Andy; Falloon, Pete; Smith, Pete. 2010 Estimating changes in Scottish soil carbon stocks using ECOSSE. I. Model description and uncertainties. Climate Research, 45 (Special 24: Clim). 179-192. 10.3354/cr00899

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Abstract/Summary

To predict the response of C-rich soils to external change, models are needed that accurately reflect the conditions of these soils. Estimation of Carbon in Organic Soils—Sequestration and Emissions (ECOSSE) is a model that allows simulations of soil C and N turnover in both mineral and organic soils using only the limited meteorological, land-use and soil data that is available at the national scale. Because it is able to function at field as well as national scales if appropriate input data are used, field-scale evaluations can be used to determine uncertainty in national simulations. Here we present an evaluation of the uncertainty expected in national-scale simulations of Scotland, using data from the National Soil Inventory of Scotland. This data set provides measurements of C change for the range of soils, climates and land-use types found across Scotland. The simulated values show a high degree of association with the measurements in both total C and change in C content of the soil. Over all sites where land-use change occurred, the average deviation between the simulated and measured values of percentage change in soil C was less than the experimental error (11% simulation error, 53% measurement error). This suggests that the uncertainty in the national-scale simulations will be ~11%. Only a small bias in the simulations was observed compared to the measured values, suggesting that a small underestimate of the change in soil C should be expected at the national scale (–4%)

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3354/cr00899
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.3 - Quantify & attribute changes in biogeochemiical cycles ...
CEH Sections: Billett (to November 2013)
Emmett
CEH fellows
ISSN: 0936-577X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This paper is Open Access - click on the Official URL link to access the full text
Additional Keywords: organic soils, dynamics simulation modelling, changes in soil C stocks, land-use change, uncertainty, national-scale simulations
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Data and Information
Date made live: 26 Jan 2011 11:00
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13152

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