Senior scientist William Riley and several EESA collaborators have published a chapter of a new book on soil biogeochemistry. Published in March, the book Multi-Scale Biogeochemical Processes in Soil Ecosystems: Critical Reactions and Resilience to Climate Changes was developed to provide a state-of-the-art overview of research in soil biogeochemical processes and strategies for greenhouse gas mitigation under climate change.
The EESA contributors authored chapter 11, Next-Generation Soil Biogeochemistry Model Representations: A Proposed Community Open-Source Model Farm (BeTR-S), to provide an open-source software package designed to simulate the processes that they consider to be among the most important in soil biogeochemistry. Riley explained that their contributions mark an important development in being able to accurately portray soil biogeochemical processes that play an important role in the global climate.
“The system is very complex and until now there has been no universally available software to analyze these interactions,” said Riley. “In the real world, microbial processes in the soil and mineral surface interaction processes are happening all the time but it’s difficult and time consuming for scientists to incorporate them in a numerical model. With this open-source model that we have developed, we have made it easier for scientists to explore their own hypotheses on how soil biogeochemical processes affect soil carbon cycling, and ultimately how those processes interact with climate.”
EESA Staff Scientist Jinyun Tang developed the open-source code, and Riley, EESA research scientists Qing Zhu and Nick Bouskill, and former postdoc fellow Rose Abramoff contributed to the chapter. Carlos Sierra from the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany is also a co-author. This code is being applied by the Belowground Biogeochemistry Scientific Focus Area project led by EESA Senior Scientist Margaret Torn and by EESA scientists involved in the global land model ELM, which is a component of E3SM.