Bolstad, P. V. (University of Minnesota Dept. of Forest Resources, 115 Green Hall, St. Paul, MN, 55108; Phone: 612 624-9711; Fax: 612 625-5212; Email:


Simulating Carbon Dynamics in Forests - What May We Learn From Agriculturalists?


P.V. Bolstad*


More studies have focused on agricultural management and soil carbon (C) than on forests, forest management, and soil C storage. This is in part due to the relatively broader and deeper understanding of management impacts on agricultural soils, the range of management options possible in agroecosystems, and the history, number, and breadth of long-term soil C studies in agricultural settings.

There are a large and growing number of soil carbon models, and these models differ in their objectives, structure, and outputs. Many models focus on intensively managed, annual agricultural systems; a smaller set have focused on extensively managed or unmanaged systems, predominantly forests or grasslands, and a smaller set have been developed and tested across both forest and agricultural ecosystems at a range of management regimes. This talk describes and contrasts the basic approaches used in soil C models for agricultural and forested systems, evaluates the ability to integrate
changes in forest management regimes on predictions in forest soil and ecosystem C storage, and identifies steps necessary to integrate management sensitivity and improve the quality of forest soil C models.