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Title: Modelling soil organic carbon dynamics under land use and climate change
Author: Gottschalk, Pia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 2924
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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Soil organic matter (SOM) models simplify the complex turnover dynamics of organic matter in soils. Stabilization mechanisms are currently thought to play a dominant role in SOM turnover but they are not explicitly accounted for in most SOM models. One study addresses the implementation of an approach to account for the stabilization mechanism of physical protection in the SOC model RothC using 13C abundance measurements in conjunction with soil size fractionation data. SOM models are increasingly used to support policy decisions on carbon (C) mitigation and credibility of model predictions move into the focus of research. A site scale, Monte Carlo based model uncertainty analysis of a SOM model was carried out. One of the major results was that uncertainty and factor importance depend on the combination of external drivers. A different approach was used with the SOM ECOSSE model to estimate uncertainties in soil organic carbon (SOC) stock changes of mineral and organic soils in Scotland. The average statistical model error from site scale evaluation was transferred to regional scale uncertainty to give an indication of the uncertainty in national scale predictions. National scale simulations were carried out subsequently to quantify SOC stock changes differentiating between organic and mineral soils and land use change types. Organic soils turned out to be most vulnerable to SOC losses in the last decades. The final study of this thesis emplyed the RothC model to simulate possible futures of global SOC stock changes under land use change and ten different climate scenarios. Land use change turned out to be of minor importance. The regionally balance between soil C inputs and decomposition leads to a diverse map of regional C gains and losses with different degrees of certainty.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Soil management ; Soil fertility ; Soils