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Title: Explicitly representing soil microbial processes in Earth system models: Soil microbes in earth system models

Microbes influence soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and the long-term stabilization of carbon (C) in soils. We contend that by revising the representation of microbial processes and their interactions with the physicochemical soil environment, Earth system models (ESMs) may make more realistic global C cycle projections. Explicit representation of microbial processes presents considerable challenges due to the scale at which these processes occur. Thus, applying microbial theory in ESMs requires a framework to link micro-scale process-level understanding and measurements to macro-scale models used to make decadal- to century-long projections. Here, we review the diversity, advantages, and pitfalls of simulating soil biogeochemical cycles using microbial-explicit modeling approaches. We present a roadmap for how to begin building, applying, and evaluating reliable microbial-explicit model formulations that can be applied in ESMs. Drawing from experience with traditional decomposition models we suggest: (1) guidelines for common model parameters and output that can facilitate future model intercomparisons; (2) development of benchmarking and model-data integration frameworks that can be used to effectively guide, inform, and evaluate model parameterizations with data from well-curated repositories; and (3) the application of scaling methods to integrate microbial-explicit soil biogeochemistry modules within ESMs. With contributions across scientific disciplines, we feel this roadmapmore » can advance our fundamental understanding of soil biogeochemical dynamics and more realistically project likely soil C response to environmental change at global scales.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14]
  1. Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder Colorado USA
  2. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine California USA; Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine California USA
  3. Appalachian Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Frostburg Maryland USA
  4. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley California USA; Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley California USA
  5. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria British Columbia Canada
  6. Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine California USA; Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette Indiana USA
  7. Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine California USA; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena California USA
  8. Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma USA
  9. Computational Science Laboratory, Microsoft Research, Cambridge UK
  10. Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana USA
  11. Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma USA; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland Washington USA
  12. CSIRO Ocean and Atmosphere Flagship, Aspendale Victoria Australia
  13. Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma USA; Tiantong National Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai China
  14. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas USA
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1267596
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-113961
Journal ID: ISSN 0886-6236
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Global Biogeochemical Cycles; Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 10
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Biogeochemical cycles; processes; and modeling; Carbon cycling; Soils/pedology; Earth system modeling; Microbe/mineral interactions