Transparc: Forest Soil Carbon Simulation Model

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch


The TransparC forest soil carbon simulation model aims to demonstrate the slow, but yet dynamic character of the forest soil C balance to researchers, students and policy makers. The forest soil carbon simulator lumps new and old organic matter into one pool for each of six different depth segments. These can be fixed depth segments or soil horizons. The excel spreadsheet runs for 40 years and calculates annual changes in the soil carbon sink in t C ha-1. Inputs are soil depth segments (cm), initial soil carbon content (% C), annual aboveground litter fall (g m-2), root litter distribution (% of aboveground litter fall) and turnover rates (k, year-1) for each depth segment.
Two important pedological processes in mineral forest soils, bioturbation by macrofauna (earthworms) and podzolisation are included, allowing transfer of SOC between the forest floor and mineral soil layers.
Four common forested soil types in Denmark are presented as cases using data from the SINKS resampling study (1990 and 2008-10) of the National 7 x 7 km Nitrate monitoring grid. In the case study model runs decomposition rates (k, year-1) were adjusted manually in the spreadsheet to fit observed change in C concentration over 18 years. The cases represent classes of subsoil texture and initial topsoil carbon content (sandy: 1.3%C and 2.6% C, loamy: 2.8% C and organic 43%C).
The SOC stock changes were sensitive to the uncertainty of 1) aboveground litter and root litter inputs (-10%) changing C sink rates by -0.16 to -0.24 t C ha-1 yr-1), 2) the turnover rate (+10%) of soil organic matter in mineral topsoil (-0.03 to -0.1 t C ha-1 yr-1), and 3) the earthworm effect (+5pp removed from ff to mineral soil, -0.001 to + 0.05 t C ha-1 yr-1).
The TransparC model with documentation can be downloaded from

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts : Soil Science in a Changing World
EditorsJ. Wallinga, G. Mol, V. L. Mulder, A. M. Zaal, B. Jansen
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publication date2017
ChapterTheme 2
ISBN (Print)978-94-6343-061-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventWageningen Soil Conference: Soil Science in a Changing World - Wageningen, Netherlands
Duration: 27 Aug 201731 Aug 2017


ConferenceWageningen Soil Conference

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