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Michael Herbst, Agrosphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH



AgroC is a numerical model for simulating the 1-dimensional flux of soil heat, soil water and carbon in agricultural systems. The SoilCO2/RothC model (Herbst et al., 2008; Simunek et al., 1993) was extended with the dynamic plant growth module SUCROS (Spitters et al., 1988). The combination of the aforementioned subroutines allows for a closed carbon balance of cropped ecosystems at an hourly or daily time step. The model explicitly accounts for soil carbon turnover, soil CO2 flux, plant water stress and organ-specific carbon allocation. A quite unique feature of this model is the consideration of root exudation and root death and the effect of both processes on soil respiration. Standard input parameters exist for cereals, sugar beet, maize, potato and grassland.


Scientific articles

Bauer, J., L. Weihermüller, J.A. Huisman, M. Herbst, A. Graf, J.M. Sequaris, H. Vereecken, 2012: Inverse determination of soil heterotrophic respiration dependency on temperature and water content under field conditions. Biogeochemistry, 108, 119-134.

Herbst, M., H.J Hellebrand, J. Bauer, J.A. Huisman, J. Simunek, L. Weihermüller, A. Graf, J. Vanderborght, H. Vereecken, 2008. Multiyear heterotrophic soil respiration: evaluation of a coupled CO2 transport and carbon turnover model. Ecological Modelling, 214, 271-283.

Simunek, J., D.L. Suarez, 1993. Modeling of carbon dioxide transport and production in soil 1. model development. Water Resources Research 29(2), 487-497.

Spitters, C.J.T., H. van Keulen, D.W.G. van Kraalingen. 1988. A simple but universal crop growth simulation model, SUCROS87. In: R. Rabbinge, H. Van Laar and S. Ward (eds.). Simulation and systems management in crop protection. Simulation Monographs, PUDOC, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Technical information

Operating system(s): Windows, MacOS, Linux (Fortran compiler required)

Licence: freely available

Output(s): soil water content, soil temperature, soil organic carbon pools, net ecosystem exchange, gross primary productivity, total ecosystem respiration, soil heterotrophic CO2 production, root respiration, crop yield

Export format(s): ASCII output files



Brogi C, J.A. Huisman, M. Herbst, L. Weihermüller, A. Klosterhalfen, C. Montzka, T.G. Reichenau, and H. Vereecken 2020. Simulation of spatial variability in crop leaf area index and yield using agroecosystem modeling and geophysics-based quantitative soil information. Vadose Zone Journal. 19: e20009.

Constantin, J., H. Raynal, E. Casellas, H. Hoffmann, M. Bindi, L. Doro, H. Eckersten, T. Gaiser, B. Grosz, E. Haas, K.-C. Kersebaum, S. Klatt, M. Kuhnert, E. Lewan, G.R. Maharjan, M. Moriondo, C. Nendel, P.P. Roggero, X. Specka, G. Trombi, A. Villa, E. Wang, L. Weihermüller, J. Yeluripati, Z. Zhao, F. Ewert, and J.-E. Bergez. 2019. Management and spatial resolution effects on yield and water balance at regional scale in crop models. Agriclutural and Forest Meteorology. 275: 184-195.

Groh, J., E. Diamantopoulos, X. Duan, F. Ewert, M. Herbst, M. Holbak, B. Kamali, K.‐C. Kersebaum, M. Kuhnert, G. Lischeid, C. Nendel, E. Priesack, J. Steidl, M. Sommer, T. Pütz, H. Vereecken, E. Wallor, T.K.D. Weber, M. Wegehenkel, L. Weihermüller, and H.H. Gerke 2020. Crop growth and soil water fluxes at erosion‐affected arable sites: Using weighing lysimeter data for model intercomparison. Vadose Zone J.: 19:e20058.

Grosz, B., R. Dechow, S. Gebbert, H. Hoffmann, G. Zhao, J. Constantin, H. Raynal, D. Wallach, E. Coucheney, E. Lewan, H. Eckersten, X. Specka, K.-C. Kersebaum, C. Nendel, M. Kuhnert, J. Yeluripati, E. Haas, E. Teixeira, M. Bindi, G. Trombi, M. Moriondo, L. Doro, P.P. Roggero, Z. Zhao, E. Wang, F. Tao, R. Rötter, B. Kassie, D. Cammarano, S. Asseng, L. Weihermüller, S. Siebert, T. Gaiser, and F. Ewert. 2017. The implication of input data aggregation on up-scaling soil organic carbon changes. Environmental Modelling & Software 96 (2017) 361e377.

Maharjan, G.R., H. Hoffmann, H. Webber, A.K. Srivastava, L. Weihermüller, A. Villa, E. Coucheney, E. Lewan, G. Trombi, M. Moriondo, M. Bindi, B. Grosz, R. Dechow, M. Kuhnert, L. Doro, K.-C. Kersebaum, T. Stella, X. Specka, C. Nendel, J. Constantin, H. Raynal, F. Ewert, and T. Gaiser. 2019. Effects of input data aggregation on simulated crop yields in temperate and Mediterranean climates." European Journal of Agronomy. 103: 32-46.

Žydelis, R., L. Weihermüller, M. Herbst, A. Klosterhalfen, and S. Lazauskas. 2018. A model study on the effect of water and cold stress on maize development under nemoral climate. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 263: 169-179.


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