Importance of soil NO emissions for the total atmospheric NOxbudget of Saxony, Germany

Saúl Molina-Herrera, Edwin Haas, Rüdiger Grote, Ralf Kiese, Steffen Klatt, David Kraus, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Tatjana Kampffmeyer, Rainer Friedrich, Henning Andreae, Benjamin Loubet, Christof Ammann, László Horváth, Klaus Steenberg Larsen, Carsten Gruening, Arnoud Frumau, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Soils are a significant source for the secondary greenhouse gas NO and assumed to be a significant source of tropospheric NOxin rural areas. Here we tested the LandscapeDNDC model for its capability to simulate magnitudes and dynamics of soil NO emissions for 22 sites differing in land use (arable, grassland and forest) and edaphic as well as climatic conditions. Overall, LandscapeDNDC simulated mean soil NO emissions agreed well with observations (r2= 0.82). However, simulated day to day variations of NO did only agree weakly with high temporal resolution measurements, though agreement between simulations and measurements significantly increased if data were aggregated to weekly, monthly and seasonal time scales. The model reproduced NO emissions from high and low emitting sites, and responded to fertilization (mineral and organic) events with pulse emissions. After evaluation, we linked the LandscapeDNDC model to a GIS database holding spatially explicit data on climate, land use, soil and management to quantify the contribution of soil biogenic NO emissions to the total NOxbudget for the State of Saxony, Germany. Our calculations show that soils of both agricultural and forest systems are significant sources and contribute to about 8% (uncertainty range: 6–13%) to the total annual tropospheric NOxbudget for Saxony. However, the contributions of soil NO emission to total tropospheric NOxshowed a high spatial variability and in some rural regions such as the Ore Mts., simulated soil NO emissions were by far more important than anthropogenic sources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Pages (from-to)61-76
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Distributed modeling
  • Emission inventory
  • LandscapeDNDC
  • Model evaluation
  • NOemissions
  • Soil emissions


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