The VSD+ suite of models


The single-layer soil model VSD+ (Bonten et al. 2016) accounts for processes of organic C and N turnover as well as charge and mass balances of elements, cation exchange and base cation weathering. VSD+ is an extension of the Very Simple Dynamic (VSD) model (Posch and Reinds 2009), developed to support the assessment of emissions abatements of S and N, e.g. to simulate the recovery from acidification on a European scale (Reinds et al. 2009).


MetHyd is a meteo-hydrological pre-processor for VSD+ to calculate daily evapotranspiration, soil moisture, precipitation surplus and parameters related to N processes (Bonten et al. 2016). MetHyd reads daily data on temperature, precipitation and radiation, or derives daily values from monthly data. MetHyd input includes information on soil hydraulic properties, as well as bulk density, the content of clay, sand and organic C.


GrowUp is a tool to estimate forest growth, litter fall and nutrient uptake in forest stands (Bonten et al. 2016).  GrowUp reads input on region, N deposition, forest growth and management (planting, thinning and clear-cut) and computes time series of uptake of N and base cations (Ca, Mg and K), and C and N in litter fall.  GrowUp uses logistic growth curves to calculate stem growth, or alternatively interpolates the annual stem growth from user-specified yield tables and management scenarios, e.g. low or no management activities in the case of unmanaged forests. The user may specify biomass expansion factors and maximum amount of leaves, or use the default values given by the model for different regions and tree species. Also turnover rates and nutrient (N, Ca, Mg, K) contents of tree compartments have default values that can be modified by the user.


PROPS is an empirical model that predicts the occurrence probabilities of plant species in response to a combination of climatic factors (temperature T, precipitation P), N deposition, soil solution pH and soil C:N ratio. Plant response functions in PROPS were derived from vegetation relevés with associated data on soil abiotic conditions (N, pH) (Reinds et al. 2014, 2015). PROPS provides probabilities of species occurrence depending on precipitation, temperature, N deposition, soil pH and soil C:N ratio. As a measure of biodiversity, or habitat response, PROPS employs a ‘habitat suitability index’ (HSI) (Rowe et al. 2016). HSI describes the degree of suitability of site conditions for a set of typical species to co-occur.

Available from: http://www.wge-cce.org/Methods_Models/Available_Models

Licence: Open source

Operating System(s): Windows

Modelled processes...


  • Bonten L.T.C., Reinds G.J., Posch M. 2016. A model to calculate effects of atmospheric deposition on soil acidification, eutrophication and carbon sequestration. Environmental Modelling & Software 79:75–84. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.01.009
  • Posch M., Reinds G.J. 2009. A very simple dynamic soil acidification model for scenario analyses and target load calculations. Environmental Modelling and Software 24:329–340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2008.09.007
  • Reinds, G.J., Posch, M., Leemans, R. 2009. Modelling recovery from soil acidification in European forests under climate change. Sci Total Environ 407:5663–5673. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2009.07.013
  • Reinds, G.J., Mol-Dijkstra, J., Bonten, L., Wamelink, W., de Vries, W., Posch, M. 2014. Chapter 4. VSD+ PROPS: Recent Developments. In: Slootweg, J., Posch, M., Hettelingh, J.-P., Mathijssen, L. (eds.) Modelling and mapping the impacts of atmospheric deposition on plant species diversity in Europe. CCE Status Report 2014, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM Report 2014-0075, Bilthoven, Netherlands, pp. 47–53. http://wge-cce.org/Publications/CCE_Status_Reports
  • Reinds, G.J., Mol-Dijkstra, J., Bonten, L., Wamelink, W., Hennekens, S., Goedhart, P., Posch, M. 2015. Probability of Plant Species (PROPS) model: Latest Developments. In: Slootweg, J., Posch, M., Hettelingh, J.-P. (eds) Modelling and mapping the impacts of atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and sulphur. CCE Status Report 2015, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM Report 2015-0193, Bilthoven, Netherlands. pp. 55–62 http://wge-cce.org/Publications/CCE_Status_Reports
  • Rowe, E.C., Ford, A.E.S., Smart, S.M., Henrys, P.A., Ashmore, M.R., 2016. Using qualitative and quantitative methods to choose a habitat quality metric for air pollution policy evaluation. PLoS-ONE 11(8): e0161085. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161085