Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2008
Citation: Cabrera, M., Molina, J.A., Vigil, M.F. 2008. Modeling of the N Cycle. Book Chapter In Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems. 18:695-730. American Society of Agronomy, Inc. Madison, WI. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Simulation models provide a summary of the quantitative understanding of the system being modeled. The objective of this book chapter is to review the wealth of literature and the documented simulation models currently available that deal with the nitrogen (N) cycle. The fast increase in computer power observed over the last two decades has allowed the development of computer simulation models for C and N cycling in agricultural and natural ecosystems. Models of the N cycle may be useful to understand and manage ecosystems so as to protect environmental quality and ensure long-term sustainability. In this chapter, we first present general concepts on systems, models and model development (Section II), followed by a review of current approaches used to model different transformations in the N cycle (Section III). We conclude with a general discussion of the current status and future research needs in the area of N models. We emphasize, it is not our intention to provide an exhaustive review of the different N models available, but instead to describe representative approaches used by the different models in existence.