Simulation of the long-term carbon and nitrogen dynamics in Dutch forest soils under Scots pine
Abstract. Dynamics of C and N in forest soils in the Nutrient Cycling and Soil Acidification Model (NUCSAM) are described by the transformation and decomposition of three organic matter compartments, litter, fermented material and humic material. These three compartments are allocated to the morphological distinguishable L, F and H horizons of the organic layer. Changes in the pools of these organic compartments are described with first order equations for decomposition and transformation. Rate constants for decomposition and transformation were derived by calibrating the model to measured organic matter pools in organic layers of a chrono-sequence of five first succession Scots pine stands between 15 and 120 years old. Simulated pools of organic matter in the organic layers were in agreement with measured pools in the five pine stands, except for the first thirty years of the H-horizon. During this period, an increase in organic matter in the H horizon was simulated while no H horizons were observed in the field. The simulated total pool of organic matter in the organic layer agreed well with values from a field inventory in 20 other Scots pine stands, but the simulated distribution over the three horizons differed from the field measurements which varied among sites. For the Scots pine stands the model was able to simulate the organic matter accumulation in the top 40-cm of the mineral soil; derived almost completely from fine root turnover. The accumulated pool of nitrogen in the organic layer was in agreement with measured pools for the oldest Scots pine stand but was too high for the younger stands. Especially, the accumulation of N in the F-horizon was too fast, presumably due to an overestimated retention of nitrogen.