Quantifying global N2O emissions from natural ecosystem soils using trait-based biogeochemistry models
A group of soil microbes plays an important role in nitrogen cycling and N2O emissions from natural ecosystem soils. We developed a trait-based biogeochemical model based on an extant process-based biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), by incorporating the detailed microbial physiological processes of nitrification. The effect of ammonia-oxidizing Archaea (AOA), ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) was considered in modeling nitrification. Microbial traits, including microbial biomass and density, were explicitly considered. In addition, nitrogen cycling was coupled with carbon dynamics based on stoichiometry theory between carbon and nitrogen. The model was parameterized using observational data and then applied to quantifying global N2O emissions from global terrestrial ecosystem soils from 1990 to 2000. Our estimates of 8.7±1.6 Tg N yr−1 generally agreed with previous estimates during the study period. Tropical forests are a major emitter, accounting for 42 % of the global emissions. The model was more sensitive to temperature and precipitation and less sensitive to soil organic carbon and nitrogen contents. Compared to the model without considering the detailed microbial activities, the new model shows more variations in response to seasonal changes in climate. Our study suggests that further information on microbial diversity and ecophysiology features is needed. The more specific guilds and their traits shall be considered in future soil N2O emission quantifications.