Contribution to developing a new generation of soil-plant models

Post-doctoral researcher : Julien Sainte-Marie
Univeristy : l’Institut Elie Cartan of the  University of Lorraine
Contract period : 6 months (2015)

Research topic Contribution to the development of a new generation of soil-plant models

Research team and supervising scientist(s) 
Research team : Research Unit (UR) 1138 – Forest Ecosystem Biogeochemistry (BEF)
Supervisor : Laurent Saint-André


Context and state of the art — Julien Sainte-Marie’s research topic involves introducing theoretical mathmatical tools contributing to integrating biogeochemical cycles to phenmenological forest growth models (seasonal dynamics of forest cover and décomposition of soil organic matter).

Objectives and specific questions to be addressed This project has two main objectives: (1) the association of models Biljou/E-Denro/SLCD will be implemented for several study sites (Eucalyptus-Douglas), and (2) the synthesis and publication of the mathematical results of the thesis of Julien Sainte-Marie (collaboration with G. I. Agren and Mr. Barrandon) regarding the models of decomposition of organic material (theory of quality,integro-differential equations, existence and uniqueness of solutions) will allow us to study the integration of microbiology to models for the quality of decomposition of organic matter (collaboration with D. Derrien and Mr. Barrandon).

Relevant scientific and socio-economic issues  The main issues are the availablitiy of soil-plant models, simulating wood production and the balance between ecosystemic services under several management and climatic scenarios.

Methodological approaches and expected results he implementation of Biljou/E-Denro/SLCD coupling (collaboration with P. Santenoise) will permit us to propose an operative modeling tool open to future developments (languages/ R and Matlab). Additionally, defining a conceptual scheme based on quality theory and considering the dynamics of microbial communities and enzymatic activity will open new paths in organic matter decomposition modeling.