Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 437419
Title Modeling the vertical soil organic matter profile using Bayesian parameter estimation
Author(s) Braakhekke, M.C.; Wutzler, T.; Beer, C.; Kattge, J.; Schrumpf, M.; Schöning, I.; Hoosbeek, M.R.; Kruijt, B.; Kabat, P.
Source Biogeosciences Discussions 9 (2012). - ISSN 1810-6277 - p. 11239 - 11292.
DOI https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-9-11239-2012
Department(s) Earth System Science
Alterra - Climate change and adaptive land and water management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2012
Abstract The vertical distribution of soil organic matter (SOM) in the profile may constitute a significant factor for soil carbon cycling. However, the formation of the SOM profile is currently poorly understood due to equifinality, caused by the entanglement of several processes: input from roots, mixing due to bioturbation, and organic matter leaching. In this study we quantified the contribution of these three processes using Bayesian parameter estimation for the mechanistic SOM profile model SOMPROF. Based on organic carbon measurements, 13 parameters related to decomposition and transport of organic matter were estimated for two temperature forest soils: an Arenosol with a mor humus form (Loobos, The Netherlands), and a Cambisol with mull type humus (Hainich, Germany). Furthermore, the use of the radioisotope 210Pbex as tracer for vertical SOM transport was studied. For Loobos the calibration results demonstrate the importance of liquid phase transport for shaping the vertical SOM profile, while the effects of bioturbation are generally negligible. These results are in good agreement with expectations given in situ conditions. For Hainich the calibration offered three distinct explanations for the observations (three modes in the posterior distribution). With the addition of 210Pbex data and prior knowledge, as well as additional information about in situ conditions, we were able to identify the most likely explanation, which identified root litter input as the dominant process for the SOM profile. For both sites the organic matter appears to comprise mainly adsorbed but potentially leachable material, pointing to the importance of organo-mineral interactions. Furthermore, organic matter in the mineral soil appears to be mainly derived from root litter, supporting previous studies that highlighted the importance of root input for soil carbon sequestration. The 210Pbex measurements added only slight additional constraint on the estimated parameters. However, with sufficient replicate measurements and possibly in combination with other tracers, this isotope may still hold value as tracer for a SOM transport.
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