Modelling soil carbon stocks following reduced tillage intensity: a framework to estimate decomposition rate constant modifiers for RothC-26.3, demonstrated in north west Europe

Matthew W. Jordon* (Corresponding Author), Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Simulating cropland soil carbon changes following a reduction in tillage intensity is necessary to determine the utility of this management practice in climate change mitigation. In instances where reduced or no tillage increases soil carbon stocks, this is typically due to reduced decomposition rates of crop residues. Although some soil carbon models contain a priori decomposition rate modifiers to account for tillage regime, these are typically not calibrated to specific climatic regions, and none are currently available for the Rothamsted Carbon Model (RothC). Here, we present a modelling framework to estimate a tillage rate modifier (TRM) for the decomposition rate constants in RothC-26.3 which determine decay between soil carbon pools. We demonstrate this for north-west
Europe, using published data assembled through a recent systematic review with
propagation of error from input parameters throughout the framework. The small magnitude of soil carbon change following a reduction in tillage intensity in this region is eflected in our TRM estimates for no-till of 0.95 (95% Credible Intervals 0.91, 1.00) and reduced tillage of 0.93 (0.90, 0.97), relative to conventional high-intensity tillage with a TRM of 1. These TRMs facilitate realistic simulation of soil carbon dynamics following a reduction of tillage intensity using RothC, and our simple, transparent, and repeatable modelling
framework is suitable for application in other climatic regions using input data generalisable to the context of interest
Original languageEnglish
Article number105428
Number of pages5
JournalSoil & Tillage Research
Volume222
Early online date20 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • carbon sequestration
  • soil organic matter
  • arable
  • RothC mode
  • tillage
  • temperate

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