The development of the MERES (Methane Emissions in Rice EcoSystems) model for simulating methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) emissions from rice fields is described. The CERES-Rice crop simulation model was used as a basis, employing the existing routines simulating soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition to predict the amount of substrate available for methanogenesis. This was linked to an existing sub-model, described elsewhere in this volume (Arah & Kirk, 2000), which calculates steady-state fluxes and concentrations of CH<sub>4</sub> and O<sub>2</sub> in flooded soils. Extra routines were also incorporated to simulate the influence of the combined pool of alternative electron acceptors in the soil (i.e., NO<sub>3</sub> <sup>–</sup>, Mn<sup>4+</sup>, Fe<sup>3+</sup>, SO<sub>4</sub><sup> 2–</sup>) on CH<sub>4</sub> production. The rate of substrate supply is calculated in the SOM routines of the CERES-Rice model from (a) the rate of decomposition of soil organic material including that left from the previous crop and any additions of organic matter, (b) root exudates (modified from the original CERES-Rice model using recent laboratory data), and (c) the decomposition of dead roots from the current crop. A fraction of this rate of substrate supply, determined by the concentration of the oxidized form of the alternative electron acceptor pool, is converted to CO<sub>2</sub> by bacteria which outcompete the methanogenic bacteria, thereby suppressing CH<sub>4</sub> production. Any remaining fraction of the substrate supply rate is assumed to be potentially available for methanogenesis. The CH<sub>4</sub> dynamics sub-model uses this potetial methanogenesis rate, along with a description of the root length distribution in the soil profile supplied by the crop model, to calculate the steady-state concentrations and fluxes of O<sub>2</sub> and CH<sub>4</sub>. The reduced form of the alternative electron acceptor pool is allowed to reoxidize when soil pores fill with air if the field is drained. The MERES model was able to explain well the seasonal patterns of CH<sub>4</sub> emissions in an experiment involving mid- and end-season drainage and additions of organic material at IRRI in the Philippines.
Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems (2000) 58 (1-3) 141-159 [DOI: 10.1023/A:1009894619446]