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Changes in soil carbon and nitrogen following land abandonment of farmland on the Loess Plateau, China.

Deng L, Shangguan ZP, Sweeney S - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: The revegetation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN).Soil OC and N storage (0-100 cm) was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr), had increased in the older grasslands (30 yr), and at 30 years SOC had increased to pre-abandonment levels.Our results indicate that soil C and TN were significantly and positively correlated, indicating that studies on the storage of soil OC and TN needs to focus on deeper soil and not be restricted to the uppermost (0-30 cm) soil levels.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

ABSTRACT
The revegetation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN). However, the dynamics of both soil OC and N storage following the abandonment of farmland are not well understood. To learn more about soil C and N storages dynamics 30 years after the conversion of farmland to grassland, we measured SOC and TN content in paired grassland and farmland sites in the Zhifanggou watershed on the Loess Plateau, China. The grassland sites were established on farmland abandoned for 1, 7, 13, 20, and 30 years. Top soil OC and TN were higher in older grassland, especially in the 0-5 cm soil depths; deeper soil OC and TN was lower in younger grasslands (<20 yr), and higher in older grasslands (30 yr). Soil OC and N storage (0-100 cm) was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr), had increased in the older grasslands (30 yr), and at 30 years SOC had increased to pre-abandonment levels. For a thirty year period following abandonment the soil C/N value remained at 10. Our results indicate that soil C and TN were significantly and positively correlated, indicating that studies on the storage of soil OC and TN needs to focus on deeper soil and not be restricted to the uppermost (0-30 cm) soil levels.

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SOC and TN dynamics for seven soil layers of 0–100 cm following the conversion of farmland to grassland.Values are in the form of Mean ± SE and the sample size n = 5. Different lower-case letters above the bars mean significant differences in the same soil layers among abandoned land in different years (P<0.05).
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pone-0071923-g003: SOC and TN dynamics for seven soil layers of 0–100 cm following the conversion of farmland to grassland.Values are in the form of Mean ± SE and the sample size n = 5. Different lower-case letters above the bars mean significant differences in the same soil layers among abandoned land in different years (P<0.05).

Mentions: SOC in 0–5 cm soil was higher in older grassland following abandonment (Table 2, Figure 3a). In the first 20 years, 0–5 cm SOC showed no significant changes; after 20 years, it had significantly increased (Figure 3a). The 5–20 cm SOC had not significantly increased (Table 2). The 20–70 cm SOC was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr) and higher in the older grasslands (30 yr) (Figure 3a). When abandoned for 30 years, 20–70 cm SOC had increased to the level prior to abandonment (maize) (Figure 3a). The 70–100 cm SOC showed no significant changes since having been abandoned, but also showed a tendency to be low in younger grasslands and higher in the older grasslands (Table 2, Figure 3a).


Changes in soil carbon and nitrogen following land abandonment of farmland on the Loess Plateau, China.

Deng L, Shangguan ZP, Sweeney S - PLoS ONE (2013)

SOC and TN dynamics for seven soil layers of 0–100 cm following the conversion of farmland to grassland.Values are in the form of Mean ± SE and the sample size n = 5. Different lower-case letters above the bars mean significant differences in the same soil layers among abandoned land in different years (P<0.05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3733848&req=5

pone-0071923-g003: SOC and TN dynamics for seven soil layers of 0–100 cm following the conversion of farmland to grassland.Values are in the form of Mean ± SE and the sample size n = 5. Different lower-case letters above the bars mean significant differences in the same soil layers among abandoned land in different years (P<0.05).
Mentions: SOC in 0–5 cm soil was higher in older grassland following abandonment (Table 2, Figure 3a). In the first 20 years, 0–5 cm SOC showed no significant changes; after 20 years, it had significantly increased (Figure 3a). The 5–20 cm SOC had not significantly increased (Table 2). The 20–70 cm SOC was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr) and higher in the older grasslands (30 yr) (Figure 3a). When abandoned for 30 years, 20–70 cm SOC had increased to the level prior to abandonment (maize) (Figure 3a). The 70–100 cm SOC showed no significant changes since having been abandoned, but also showed a tendency to be low in younger grasslands and higher in the older grasslands (Table 2, Figure 3a).

Bottom Line: The revegetation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN).Soil OC and N storage (0-100 cm) was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr), had increased in the older grasslands (30 yr), and at 30 years SOC had increased to pre-abandonment levels.Our results indicate that soil C and TN were significantly and positively correlated, indicating that studies on the storage of soil OC and TN needs to focus on deeper soil and not be restricted to the uppermost (0-30 cm) soil levels.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

ABSTRACT
The revegetation of abandoned farmland significantly influences soil organic C (SOC) and total N (TN). However, the dynamics of both soil OC and N storage following the abandonment of farmland are not well understood. To learn more about soil C and N storages dynamics 30 years after the conversion of farmland to grassland, we measured SOC and TN content in paired grassland and farmland sites in the Zhifanggou watershed on the Loess Plateau, China. The grassland sites were established on farmland abandoned for 1, 7, 13, 20, and 30 years. Top soil OC and TN were higher in older grassland, especially in the 0-5 cm soil depths; deeper soil OC and TN was lower in younger grasslands (<20 yr), and higher in older grasslands (30 yr). Soil OC and N storage (0-100 cm) was significantly lower in the younger grasslands (<20 yr), had increased in the older grasslands (30 yr), and at 30 years SOC had increased to pre-abandonment levels. For a thirty year period following abandonment the soil C/N value remained at 10. Our results indicate that soil C and TN were significantly and positively correlated, indicating that studies on the storage of soil OC and TN needs to focus on deeper soil and not be restricted to the uppermost (0-30 cm) soil levels.

Show MeSH