Stoichiometrically coupled carbon and nitrogen cycling in the MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization model (MIMICS-CN) Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Explicit consideration of microbial physiology in soil biogeochemical models that represent coupled carbon-nitrogen dynamics presents opportunities to deepen understanding of ecosystem responses to environmental change. The MIcrobial-MIneral Carbon Stabilization (MIMICS) model explicitly represents microbial physiology and physicochemical stabilization of soil carbon (C) on regional and global scales. Here we present a new version of MIMICS with coupled C and nitrogen (N) cycling through litter, microbial, and soil organic matter (SOM) pools. The model was parameterized and validated against C and N data from the Long-Term Inter-site Decomposition Experiment Team (LIDET; 6 litter types, 10 years of observations, 13 sites across North America). The model simulates C and N losses from litterbags in the LIDET study with reasonable accuracy (C: R2 = 0.63, N: R2 = 0.29) results that are comparable with simulations from the DAYCENT model that implicitly represents microbial activity (C: R2 = 0.67, N: R2 = 0.30). Subsequently, we evaluated equilibrium values of stocks (total soil C and N, microbial biomass C and N, inorganic N) and microbial process rates (soil heterotrophic respiration, N mineralization) simulated by MIMICS-CN across the 13 simulated LIDET sites against published observations from other continent-wide datasets. We found that MIMICS-CN produces equilibrium values in line with measured values, showing that the model generates plausible estimates of ecosystem soil biogeochemical dynamics across continental-scale gradients. MIMICS-CN provides a platform for coupling C and N projections in a microbial-explicit model but experiments still need to identify the physiological and stoichiometric characteristics of soil microbes, especially under environmental change scenarios.;

publication date

  • December 19, 2019

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • November 7, 2020 12:03 PM

Full Author List

  • Kyker-Snowman E; Wieder WR; Frey S; Grandy AS

author count

  • 4

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