Abstract. The model comprises three submodels, which together give an integrated picture of nitrogen pools and fluxes in grassland under grazing or cutting. The first submodel represents the interaction of the grazing animal with the sward through intake and the production of excreta: the second is concerned with the growth of the vegetative grass crop and its response to light, temperature and nitrogen; these two submodels are interfaced with a submodel of soil carbon and nitrogen pools and processes, including dead shoot and root material, dead and live soil organic matter, and three pools representing mineral nitrogen. No account is taken of water, which is assumed to be non‐limiting, or the possible effects of soil pH and soil aeration. The model is used to simulate a range of management strategies as applied to stocking density and fertilizer application, examining both steady‐state and non‐steady‐state conditions. The model highlights the long time scales associated with grassland systems, the role of the grazing animal in modifying carbon and nitrogen flows, and the importance of soil conditions to grassland productivity and fertilizer response. The productivity of grazed swards may be greater or less than that of cut swards depending on stocking density and fertilizer application, although nitrogen recovery (as calculated here) is always lower in grazed swards. The model is able to stimulate mineralization and immobilization, and place these in the context of plant processes and the grazing animal.
Plant Cell & Environment – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1989
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