Modeling denitrification: Can we report what we don't know?

B. Grosz, A. Matson, K. Butterbach-Bahl, T. Clough, E. A. Davidson, R. Dechow, S. DelGrosso, E. Diamantopoulos, P. Dörsch, E. Haas, H. He, C.V. Henri, D. Hui, K. Kleineidam, D. Kraus, M. Kuhnert, J. Léonard, C. Müller, S.O. Petersen, D. SihiI. Vogeler, R. Well, J. Yeluripati, J. Zhang, C. Scheer

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

3 Citations (Scopus)


Biogeochemical models simulate soil nitrogen (N) turnover and are often used to assess N losses through denitrification. Though models simulate a complete N budget, often only a subset of N pools/fluxes (i.e., N2O, (Formula presented.), NH3, NOx) are published since the full budget cannot be validated with measured data. Field studies rarely include full N balances, especially N2 fluxes, which are difficult to quantify. Limiting publication of modeling results based on available field data represents a missed opportunity to improve the understanding of modeled processes. We propose that the modeler community support publication of all simulated N pools and processes in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023AV000990
Number of pages7
JournalAGU Advances
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • biogeochemical models
  • denitrification
  • N-cycle
  • N
  • nitrogen budget

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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