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The accumulation of organic carbon in mineral soils by afforestation of abandoned farmland.

Wei X, Qiu L, Shao M, Zhang X, Gale WJ - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: Crop-derived OC concentrations in the 0-20 cm depth decreased slightly after afforestation, but there was no change in crop-derived OC concentrations in the 20-80 cm depth.The results of our study support the claim that afforestation of farmland can sequester atmospheric CO(2) by increasing soil OC stocks.Changes in the OC stocks of mineral soils after afforestation appear to be influenced mainly by the input of forest-derived C rather than by the loss of original OC.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming in the Loess Plateau, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, China. xrwei78@163.com

ABSTRACT
The afforestation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic carbon (OC). However, the dynamics between OC inputs after afforestation and the original OC are not well understood. To learn more about soil OC dynamics after afforestation of farmland, we measured the soil OC content in paired forest and farmland plots in Shaanxi Province, China. The forest plots had been established on farmland 18, 24, 48, 100, and 200 yr previously. The natural (13)C abundance of soil organic matter was also analyzed to distinguish between crop- and forest-derived C in the afforested soils. We observed a nonlinear accumulation of total OC in the 0-80 cm depth of the mineral soil across time. Total soil OC accumulated more rapidly under forest stands aged 18 to 48 yr than under forest stands aged 100 or 200 yrs. The rate of OC accumulation was also greater in the 0-10 cm depth than in the 10-80 cm depth. Forest-derived OC in afforested soils also accumulated nonlinearly across time, with the greatest increase in the 0-20 cm depth. Forest-derived OC in afforest soils accounted for 52-86% of the total OC in the 0-10 cm depth, 36-61% of the total OC in the 10-20 cm depth, and 11-50% of the total OC in the 20-80 cm depth. Crop-derived OC concentrations in the 0-20 cm depth decreased slightly after afforestation, but there was no change in crop-derived OC concentrations in the 20-80 cm depth. The results of our study support the claim that afforestation of farmland can sequester atmospheric CO(2) by increasing soil OC stocks. Changes in the OC stocks of mineral soils after afforestation appear to be influenced mainly by the input of forest-derived C rather than by the loss of original OC.

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Soil particle distribution in the study site.
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pone-0032054-g001: Soil particle distribution in the study site.

Mentions: We performed this study in the Huanglongshan Forest Area, which is located in central Shaanxi Province, China (109°38′49″–110°12′47″E, 35°28′49″–36°02′01″N, 1100 to 1300 m above sea level). The area has a continental, monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 8.6°C. Mean monthly temperatures range from −22.5°C in January to 36.7°C in July. The average annual precipitation is 612 mm, and the average frost-free period is 175 days. The loess-derived soil in the study area is classified by Chinese scientists as a cinnamon soil, which belongs to the Cambisol soil group according to the FAO system. The soil texture is silt loam. The particle size distribution is shown in Fig. 1. The soil profile is free of stones to a depth of 50 m.


The accumulation of organic carbon in mineral soils by afforestation of abandoned farmland.

Wei X, Qiu L, Shao M, Zhang X, Gale WJ - PLoS ONE (2012)

Soil particle distribution in the study site.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3295754&req=5

pone-0032054-g001: Soil particle distribution in the study site.
Mentions: We performed this study in the Huanglongshan Forest Area, which is located in central Shaanxi Province, China (109°38′49″–110°12′47″E, 35°28′49″–36°02′01″N, 1100 to 1300 m above sea level). The area has a continental, monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 8.6°C. Mean monthly temperatures range from −22.5°C in January to 36.7°C in July. The average annual precipitation is 612 mm, and the average frost-free period is 175 days. The loess-derived soil in the study area is classified by Chinese scientists as a cinnamon soil, which belongs to the Cambisol soil group according to the FAO system. The soil texture is silt loam. The particle size distribution is shown in Fig. 1. The soil profile is free of stones to a depth of 50 m.

Bottom Line: Crop-derived OC concentrations in the 0-20 cm depth decreased slightly after afforestation, but there was no change in crop-derived OC concentrations in the 20-80 cm depth.The results of our study support the claim that afforestation of farmland can sequester atmospheric CO(2) by increasing soil OC stocks.Changes in the OC stocks of mineral soils after afforestation appear to be influenced mainly by the input of forest-derived C rather than by the loss of original OC.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming in the Loess Plateau, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, China. xrwei78@163.com

ABSTRACT
The afforestation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic carbon (OC). However, the dynamics between OC inputs after afforestation and the original OC are not well understood. To learn more about soil OC dynamics after afforestation of farmland, we measured the soil OC content in paired forest and farmland plots in Shaanxi Province, China. The forest plots had been established on farmland 18, 24, 48, 100, and 200 yr previously. The natural (13)C abundance of soil organic matter was also analyzed to distinguish between crop- and forest-derived C in the afforested soils. We observed a nonlinear accumulation of total OC in the 0-80 cm depth of the mineral soil across time. Total soil OC accumulated more rapidly under forest stands aged 18 to 48 yr than under forest stands aged 100 or 200 yrs. The rate of OC accumulation was also greater in the 0-10 cm depth than in the 10-80 cm depth. Forest-derived OC in afforested soils also accumulated nonlinearly across time, with the greatest increase in the 0-20 cm depth. Forest-derived OC in afforest soils accounted for 52-86% of the total OC in the 0-10 cm depth, 36-61% of the total OC in the 10-20 cm depth, and 11-50% of the total OC in the 20-80 cm depth. Crop-derived OC concentrations in the 0-20 cm depth decreased slightly after afforestation, but there was no change in crop-derived OC concentrations in the 20-80 cm depth. The results of our study support the claim that afforestation of farmland can sequester atmospheric CO(2) by increasing soil OC stocks. Changes in the OC stocks of mineral soils after afforestation appear to be influenced mainly by the input of forest-derived C rather than by the loss of original OC.

Show MeSH