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Application Of The Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) Model To Retrospective Analysis Of The Carbon Cycle Components In Agrolandscapes Of The Central Forest Zone Of European Russia

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The retrospective  dynamics  of major components  of the carbon cycle under land use changes in the Central Forest zone of European Russia was investigated. This area is known as one of the most important agricultural and economical regions of the country. We applied the process-based simulation model DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) recommended  by UNCCC and world widely used.  In  this study the DNDC model was parameterized  for Russian arable soils using official statistical information and data taken from published sources. Three main carbon  variables in agrolandscapes were modelled: soil organic carbon, soil respiration, and net ecosystem exchange over the period of 1990-2017. For the analysis  six administrative regions  were selected:  three with unchanged (permanent)  arable land structure   (Kaluga,  Moscow,  and Yaroslavl),  and other three with changed crop rotation (Kostroma, Smolensk, and Tver). All regions in the study are characterized by homogeneous  soil cover and similar cultivated crops. The results of the modelling were verified using the data from field CO2 fluxes observations in the European part of Russia. In growing  season, the agrolandscapes function as a net carbon  sink and accumulate C from the atmosphere  into plant biomass. The dynamics of organic carbon in soil under growing  crops depends on organic  fertilizers in cultivation  technologies, and if they aren’t inputted, soil loses carbon. During the last 30 years the cumulative rates of net ecosystem exchange and soil respiration had decreased  mostly due to reduction of arable land area. CO2 emission and soil organic carbon  losses are the most important controls of land degradation.  Based on the dynamic  patterns of CO2  fluxes, the regions of the Central  Forest zone could be separated into two groups. The group with central location characterized  by intensive  soil respiration  and high rate of accumulation  of organic carbon  in soil, whereas peripheral group characterized by losses of soil organic carbon and low rates of soil respiration. According  to the modelling, within the period of observations the inter-annual changes of carbon fluxes are mainly controlled by rising air temperature and heat supply, variable precipitation, and increasing concentration  of CO2 in the atmosphere. Among human activity the most important are change of arable land area and decreasing amount of fertilizers. 

About the Authors

Olga E. Sukhoveeva
Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Institute of Geography.


Dmitry V. Karelin
Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Federation

Institute of Geography; Center for Problems of Ecology and Productivity of Forests.



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For citation:

Sukhoveeva O.E., Karelin D.V. Application Of The Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) Model To Retrospective Analysis Of The Carbon Cycle Components In Agrolandscapes Of The Central Forest Zone Of European Russia. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2019;12(2):213-226.

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