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Title: Pedotransfer Functions in Earth System Science: Challenges and Perspectives: PTFs in Earth system science perspective

Soil, through its various functions, plays a vital role in the Earth's ecosystems and provides multiple ecosystem services to humanity. Pedotransfer functions (PTFs) are simple to complex knowledge rules that relate available soil information to soil properties and variables that are needed to parameterize soil processes. Here in this article, we review the existing PTFs and document the new generation of PTFs developed in the different disciplines of Earth system science. To meet the methodological challenges for a successful application in Earth system modeling, we emphasize that PTF development has to go hand in hand with suitable extrapolation and upscaling techniques such that the PTFs correctly represent the spatial heterogeneity of soils. PTFs should encompass the variability of the estimated soil property or process, in such a way that the estimation of parameters allows for validation and can also confidently provide for extrapolation and upscaling purposes capturing the spatial variation in soils. Most actively pursued recent developments are related to parameterizations of solute transport, heat exchange, soil respiration, and organic carbon content, root density, and vegetation water uptake. Further challenges are to be addressed in parameterization of soil erosivity and land use change impacts at multiple scales. We argue thatmore » a comprehensive set of PTFs can be applied throughout a wide range of disciplines of Earth system science, with emphasis on land surface models. Novel sensing techniques provide a true breakthrough for this, yet further improvements are necessary for methods to deal with uncertainty and to validate applications at global scale.« less
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  1. Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Inst. of Bio- and Geosciences-3 Agrosphere; International Soil Modeling Consortium, Julich (Germany). Scientific Coordination Office ISMC
  2. Wageningen Univ. and Research, Wageningen (Netherlands)
  3. Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Inst. of Bio- and Geosciences-3 Agrosphere
  4. Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden)
  5. Univ. of Sydney, NSW (Australia). Dept. of Environmental Sciences
  6. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Environmental Science Division
  7. Norwegian Inst. of Bioeconomy Research, As (Norway)
  8. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Beltsville, MD (United States). Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Lab., ARS Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
  9. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Soil, Water and Environmental Science
  10. Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest (Hungary). Inst. for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Centre for Agricultural Research; Univ. of Pannonia, Keszthely (Hungary). Georgikon Faculty, Dept. of Crop Production and Soil Science
  11. Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom). Dept. of Geography and Environmental Science
  12. Wageningen Univ. and Research, Wageningen (Netherlands). Soil Physics and Land Management Group
  13. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (Germany)
  14. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Soil, Water and Environmental Science; Tianjin Univ., Tianjin (China). Inst. of Surface-Earth System Science
  15. Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Inst. of Bio- and Geosciences-3 Agrosphere; Forschungszentrum Julich (Germany). Centre for High-Performance Scientific Computing in Terrestrial Systems, HPSC TerrSys, Geoverbund ABC/J
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; KH124765
Published Article
Journal Name:
Reviews of Geophysics (1985)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Reviews of Geophysics (1985); Journal Volume: 55; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 8755-1209
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDI)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; land surface model; soil properties; hydraulic properties; heat flow; biogeochemical processes; extrapolation
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1415071; OSTI ID: 1426222