Journal cover Journal topic
Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Model description paper
16 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).
ORCHIDEE-SOM: Modeling soil organic carbon (SOC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics along vertical soil profiles in Europe
Marta Camino-Serrano1,2, Bertrand Guenet3, Sebastiaan Luyssaert4, Philippe Ciais3, Vladislav Bastrikov3, Bruno De Vos5, Bert Gielen6, Gerd Gleixner7, Albert Jornet-Puig3, Klaus Kaiser8, Dolly Kothawala9, Ronny Lauerwald10, Josep Peñuelas1,2, Marion Schrumpf7, Sara Vicca6, Nicolas Vuichard3, David Walmsley11, and Ivan A. Janssens6 1CREAF, Cerdanyola del Vallès, 08193, Catalonia, Spain
2CSIC, Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB, Bellaterra 08193, Catalonia, Spain
3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris- Saclay, F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4Department of Ecological Sciences, Free University Amsterdam (VUAmsterdam), De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands
5INBO, Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Gaverstraat 4, 9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium
6Department of Biology, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
7Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Straße 10, 07745 Jena, Germany
8Soil Science and Soil Protection, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, von-Seckendorff-Platz 3, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
9Department of Limnology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Norbyvägen 18D, Uppsala University, Uppsala, SE- 75236, Sweden
10Department of Mathematics, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
11Institute of Ecology, Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Universitätsallee 1, D-21335, Germany
Abstract. Current Land Surface Models (LSMs) typically represent soils in a very simplistic way, assuming soil organic carbon (SOC) as a bulk, thus impeding a correct representation of deep soil carbon dynamics. Moreover, LSMs generally neglect the production and export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from soils to rivers, leading to overestimations of the potential carbon sequestration on land. These common oversimplified processing of SOC in LSMs is partly responsible for the large uncertainty in the predictions of the soil carbon response to climate change. In this study, we present a new soil carbon module called ORCHIDEE-SOM, embedded within the land surface model ORCHIDEE, which is able to reproduce the DOC and SOC dynamics in a vertically discretized soil to two meters. The model includes processes of biological production and consumption of SOC and DOC, DOC adsorption on- and desorption from soil minerals, diffusion of SOC and DOC and DOC transport with water through and out of the soils to rivers. We evaluated ORCHIDEE-SOM against observations of DOC concentrations and SOC stocks from four European sites with different vegetation covers: a coniferous forest, a deciduous forest, a grassland and a cropland. The model was able to reproduce the SOC stocks along their vertical profiles at the four sites and the DOC concentrations within the range of measurements, with the exception of the DOC concentrations in the upper soil horizon at the coniferous forest. However, the model was not able to fully capture the temporal dynamics of DOC concentrations. Further model improvements should focus on a plant- and depth- dependent parameterization of the new input model parameters, such as the decomposition times of DOC and the microbial carbon use efficiency. We suggest that this new soil module, when parameterized for global simulations, will improve the representation of the global carbon cycle in LSMs, thus helping to constrain the predictions of the future SOC response to global warming.

Citation: Camino-Serrano, M., Guenet, B., Luyssaert, S., Ciais, P., Bastrikov, V., De Vos, B., Gielen, B., Gleixner, G., Jornet-Puig, A., Kaiser, K., Kothawala, D., Lauerwald, R., Peñuelas, J., Schrumpf, M., Vicca, S., Vuichard, N., Walmsley, D., and Janssens, I. A.: ORCHIDEE-SOM: Modeling soil organic carbon (SOC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics along vertical soil profiles in Europe, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Marta Camino-Serrano et al.
Marta Camino-Serrano et al.
Marta Camino-Serrano et al.


Total article views: 207 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
147 56 4 207 15 2 3

Views and downloads (calculated since 16 Nov 2017)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 16 Nov 2017)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 207 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 207 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1



Latest update: 16 Dec 2017
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Global models generally oversimplify the representation of soil organic carbon (SOC), thus its response to global warming remains uncertain. We present the new soil module ORCHIDEE-SOM, within the global model ORCHIDEE, that refines the representation of SOC dynamics and includes the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) processes. The model is able to reproduce SOC stocks and DOC concentrations in four different ecosystems, opening an opportunity for improved predictions of SOC in global models.
Global models generally oversimplify the representation of soil organic carbon (SOC), thus its...