The Rothamsted carbon model (RothC) is a model to assess soil matter turnover, which can indirectly indicate the state of degradation. It is a point-scale model and can be extrapolated to large spatial extents using remote sensing and GIS approaches. RothC is a model for the turnover of organic carbon in topsoil that allows for the effects of soil type, temperature, soil moisture and plant cover.
RothC was originally developed and parameterized to model the turnover of organic carbon in arable topsoil from the Rothamsted long-term field experiments - hence the name. Later, it was extended to model turnover in grassland and in woodland and to operate in different soils and under different climates. It has now been widely tested and used at the plot, field, regional and global scales using data from many long-term experiments, different regions, and counties throughout the world.
RothC is designed to run in two modes: ‘forward’ in which known inputs are used to calculate changes in soil organic matter and ‘inverse’ when inputs are calculated from known changes in soil organic matter.
Recent developments include a version for volcanic soils, dry soils, and carbon in the subsoil version (RothPC).