Assessment of soil water, carbon and nitrogen cycling in reseeded grassland on the North Wyke Farm Platform using a process-based model

Yuefen Li, Yi Liu, Paul Harris, Hadewij Sint, Phil J. Murray, Michael R.F. Lee, Lianhai Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
349 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP) generates large volumes of temporally-indexed data that provides a valuable test-bed for agricultural mathematical models in temperate grasslands. In our study, we used the primary datasets generated from the NWFP (https://nwfp.rothamsted.ac.uk/) to validate the SPACSYS model in terms of the dynamics of water loss and forage dry matter yield estimated through cutting. The SPACSYS model is capable of simulating soil water, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) balance in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. The validated model was then used to simulate the responses of soil water, C and N to reseeding grass cultivars with either high sugar (Lolium perenne L. cv. AberMagic) or deep rooting (Festulolium cv. Prior) traits. Simulation results demonstrated that the SPACSYS model could predict reliably soil water, C and N cycling in reseeded grassland. Compared to AberMagic, the Prior grass could fix more C in the second year following reseeding, whereas less C was lost through soil respiration in the first transition year. In comparison to the grass cultivar of the permanent pasture that existed before reseeding, both grasses reduced N losses through runoff and contributed to reducing water loss, especially Prior in relation to the latter. The SPACSYS model could predict these differences as supported by the rich dataset from the NWFP, providing a tool for future predictions on less characterized pasture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalScience of The Total Environment
Volume603–604
Early online date12 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • SPACSYS
  • North Wyke Farm Platform
  • Reseeding
  • Soil water
  • Nutrient cycling

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