Tracing of 15N in a mountain spruce forest: comparison of experimental data with th TRACE model

Krause, Kim; Providoli, Isabelle; Currie, William S.; Bugmann, Harald; Schleppi, Patrick (February 2011). Tracing of 15N in a mountain spruce forest: comparison of experimental data with th TRACE model (Unpublished). In: Jahrestagung der Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft Schweiz: Knappe Ressourcen Boden: eine Herausforderung. Frauenfeld, Schweiz. 10.-11. Februar 2011.

Text (Poster)
kkal11a.pdf - Presentation
Available under License BORIS Standard License.

Download (3MB) | Preview

Despite numerous studies about nitrogen-cycling in forest ecosystems, many uncertainties remain, especially regarding the longer-term nitrogen accumulation. To contribute to filling this gap, the dynamic process-based model TRACE, with the ability to simulate 15N tracer redistribution in forest ecosystems was used to study N cycling processes in a mountain spruce forest of the northern edge of the Alps in Switzerland (Alptal, SZ). Most modeling analyses of N-cycling and C-N interactions have very limited ability to determine whether the process interactions are captured correctly. Because the interactions in such a system are complex, it is possible to get the whole-system C and N cycling right in a model without really knowing if the way the model combines fine-scale interactions to derive whole-system cycling is correct. With the possibility to simulate 15N tracer redistribution in ecosystem compartments, TRACE features a very powerful tool for the validation of fine-scale processes captured by the model. We first adapted the model to the new site (Alptal, Switzerland; long-term low-dose N-amendment experiment) by including a new algorithm for preferential water flow and by parameterizing of differences in drivers such as climate, N deposition and initial site conditions. After the calibration of key rates such as NPP and SOM turnover, we simulated patterns of 15N redistribution to compare against 15N field observations from a large-scale labeling experiment. The comparison of 15N field data with the modeled redistribution of the tracer in the soil horizons and vegetation compartments shows that the majority of fine-scale processes are captured satisfactorily. Particularly, the model is able to reproduce the fact that the largest part of the N deposition is immobilized in the soil. The discrepancies of 15N recovery in the LF and M soil horizon can be explained by the application method of the tracer and by the retention of the applied tracer by the well developed moss layer, which is not considered in the model. Discrepancies in the dynamics of foliage and litterfall 15N recovery were also observed and are related to the longevity of the needles in our mountain forest. As a next step, we will use the final Alptal version of the model to calculate the effects of climate change (temperature, CO2) and N deposition on ecosystem C sequestration in this regionally representative Norway spruce (Picea abies) stand.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Providoli, Isabelle




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:25

Last Modified:

03 Jun 2015 15:59



URI: (FactScience: 214724)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback