The maintenance of soil organic carbon (SOC) in terrestrial ecosystems is critical for long-term productivity.
Simulation models of SOC dynamics are valuable tools in predicting the impacts of climate on carbon storage and developing management strategies for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, however, their utility is generally reduced due to need for specific data.
The SOCRATES model is a simple process based representation of SOC dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems, which requires minimal data inputs and specifically designed to examine the impact of land use and land use change on soil carbon storage. It also contains a simple yield calculator.
SOCRATES was successful in predicting SOC change at eighteen long-term crop, pasture and forestry trials from North America, Europe and Australasia. These trials ranged from 8 to 86 years in duration, over a wide range of climates and soil types.