Plant and Soil

, Volume 343, Issue 1–2, pp 139–160 | Cite as

Simulating soil N2O emissions and heterotrophic CO2 respiration in arable systems using FASSET and MoBiLE-DNDC

  • Ngonidzashe ChirindaEmail author
  • Daniela Kracher
  • Mette Lægdsmand
  • John R. Porter
  • Jørgen E. Olesen
  • Bjørn M. Petersen
  • Jordi Doltra
  • Ralf Kiese
  • Klaus Butterbach-Bahl
Regular Article


Modelling of soil emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) is complicated by complex interactions between processes and factors influencing their production, consumption and transport. In this study N2O emissions and heterotrophic CO2 respiration were simulated from soils under winter wheat grown in three different organic and one inorganic fertilizer-based cropping system using two different models, i.e., MoBiLE-DNDC and FASSET. The two models were generally capable of simulating most seasonal trends of measured soil heterotrophic CO2 respiration and N2O emissions. Annual soil heterotrophic CO2 respiration was underestimated by both models in all systems (about 10–30% by FASSET and 10–40% by MoBiLE-DNDC). Both models overestimated annual N2O emissions in all systems (about 10–580% by FASSET and 20–50% by MoBiLE-DNDC). In addition, both models had some problems in simulating soil mineral nitrogen, which seemed to originate from deficiencies in simulating degradation of soil organic matter, incorporated residues of catch crops and organic fertilizers. To improve the performance of the models, organic matter decomposition parameters need to be revised.


Catch crop Greenhouse gas emissions Organic farming Manure Mineral fertilizer Modelling Winter wheat 



The authors are grateful to COST-729, NitroEurope (NEU) and the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems (ICROFS) for supporting this work. The work was part of the CROPSYS project funded by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. We are indebted to Dr R. Grote for the vital contribution made in modelling the irrigation water and Dr S.O. Petersen for his advice during the field campaigns. This work would not have been possible were it not for the tireless technical assistance that we received from staff at Foulum, in particular Erling E. Nielsen, Per Drøscher, Jørgen M. Nielsen, Karin Dyrberg, Bodil B. Christensen and Stig T. Rasmussen.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ngonidzashe Chirinda
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Daniela Kracher
    • 2
  • Mette Lægdsmand
    • 1
  • John R. Porter
    • 3
  • Jørgen E. Olesen
    • 1
  • Bjørn M. Petersen
    • 1
  • Jordi Doltra
    • 1
  • Ralf Kiese
    • 2
  • Klaus Butterbach-Bahl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agroecology and EnvironmentAarhus UniversityTjeleDenmark
  2. 2.Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU)Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyGarmisch-PartenkirchenGermany
  3. 3.Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of CopenhagenTaastrupDenmark

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