Received: 08 Apr 2013 – Accepted for review: 06 May 2013 – Discussion started: 28 May 2013
Abstract. We evaluated the applicability of the dynamic soil carbon model Yasso07 in tropical conditions in West Africa by simulating the litter decomposition process using as required input into the model litter mass, litter quality, temperature and precipitation collected during a litterbag experiment. The experiment was conducted over a six-month period on leaf litter of five dominant tree species, namely Afzelia africana, Anogeissus leiocarpa, Ceiba pentandra, Dialium guineense and Diospyros mespiliformis in a semi-deciduous vertisol forest in Southern Benin. Since the predictions of Yasso07 were not consistent with the observations on mass loss and chemical composition of litter, Yasso07 was fitted to the dataset composed of global data and the new experimental data from Benin. The re-parameterized versions of Yasso07 had a good predictive ability and refined the applicability of the model in Benin to estimate soil carbon stocks, its changes and CO2 emissions from heterotrophic respiration as main outputs of the model. The findings of this research support the hypothesis that the high variation of litter quality observed in the tropics is a major driver of the decomposition and needs to be accounted in the model parameterization.
How to cite. Guendehou, G. H. S., Liski, J., Tuomi, M., Moudachirou, M., Sinsin, B., and Mäkipää, R.: Test of validity of a dynamic soil carbon model using data from leaf litter decomposition in a West African tropical forest, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., 6, 3003–3032, https://doi.org/10.5194/gmdd-6-3003-2013, 2013.