Systemic modelling of soil functions

The BODIUM approach

Soils are complex systems where a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes interact at various spatial scales. As emergent soil characteristics, soil functions result from all these process interactions. Thus, modelling the dynamics of soil functions in response to soil management or changes in climatic boundary conditions needs to emulate all the relevant soil processes and their interactions. In BonaRes, we develop a systemic model approach where biotic and abiotic soil constituents are internally coupled based on our current knowledge on soil processes. This leads to a network of process interactions representing the complex behaviour of soils including its non-linear dynamics, convergence to some stable states or instability in response to external forcing. This model approach is thought to be a valuable tool in several respects:


(1) prediction of the impact of soil management on soil functions,

(2) identification of research needs to complete the picture and

(3) exploration of the systemic relevance of specific processes.


BODIUM is an open modelling framework where new insights can be continuously added. The source code will be provided open access once available



König, S., Weller, U., Betancur-Corredor, B., Lang, B., Reitz, T., Wiesmeier, M., Wollschläger, U., & Vogel, H.-J. (2023). BODIUM—A systemic approach to model the dynamics of soil functions. European Journal of Soil Science, 74(5), e13411.


König S., Vogel H., Harms H., Worrich A. (2020). Physical, Chemical and Biological Effects on Soil Bacterial Dynamics in Microscale Models. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8(), . doi:10.3389/fevo.2020.00053


Vogel, H.-J., S. Bartke, K. Daedlow, K. Helming, I. Kögel-Knabner, B. Lang, E. Rabot, D. Russell, B. Stößel, U. Weller, M. Wiesmeier, and U. Wollschläger (2018): A systemic approach for modeling soil functions. SOIL, doi:10.5194/soil-4-83-2018. (pdf)


Contact: Hans-Jörg Vogel

Systemic model approach - network of process interaction

Systemic model approach - network of process interaction

Systemic model approach - network of process interaction