Organic Matter: Modeling

Authored by: Pete Smith

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Organic matter models have existed since the 1940s but most of the models commonly used today have their roots in models developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Organic matter models were originally developed to examine carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics at the site level, mostly in cropland and grassland systems, but have since become critical components of larger ecosystem models and, more recently, coupled carbon cycle climate models. Organic matter models play a critical role in science, by allowing us to integrate and test our best understanding of soil biogeochemistry, allowing us to simulate trends in organic matter dynamics, allowing us to extrapolate and project both temporally and spatially, and facilitating our exploration of the most critical questions in science today, such as biospheric carbon cycle feedbacks and the extent of future projected climate change.

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