Plant and Soil

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

Modelling soil organic matter levels after long-term applications of crop residues, and farmyard and green manures

  • A. M. A. Van der Linden
  • J. A. Van Veen
  • M. J. Frissel


A computer simulation model for long-term soil organic matter dynamics was developed and evaluated with data from long-term field trials in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. The model distinguishes four pools of soil organic components (including a microbial biomass pool) with different chemical properties. Transformation rates are described by (pseudo) first order kinetics. Effects of temperature and soil moisture tension were included. Simulation results were in agreement with experimental data from arable farming practices where common input rates were applied. Model calculations overestimated soil organic matter levels when green manures or exceptionally high input rates were applied. Inadequate experimental estimations of organic matter input rates and insufficient modelling of the soil preservation capacity for organic matter and biomass are likely reasons. After changes in the soil organic matter-input management it may take more than a century to reach new equilibrium levels.

Key words

computer simulation models experimental validation long-term extrapolation manure soil organic matter 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. A. Van der Linden
    • 1
  • J. A. Van Veen
    • 1
  • M. J. Frissel
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute ITALWageningenThe Netherlands

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