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Soil organic carbon accumulation during post-agricultural succession in a karst area, southwest China

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ABSTRACT

This study was aimed to investigate the direction and magnitude of soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and the underlying mechanisms following agricultural abandonment in a subtropical karst area, southwest China. Two post-agriculture succession sequences including grassland (~10 years), shrubland (~29 years), secondary forest (~59 years) and primary forest with cropland as reference were selected. SOC and other soil physicochemical variables in the soil depth of 0–15 cm (representing the average soil depth of the slope in the studied area) were measured. SOC content in the grassland was not significantly elevated relative to the cropland (42.0 ± 7.3 Mg C ha−1). SOC content in the shrubland reached the level of the primary forest. On average, SOC content for the forest was 92.6 ± 4.2 Mg C ha−1, representing an increase of 120.4 ± 10.0% or 50.6 ± 4.2 Mg ha−1 relative to the cropland. Following agricultural abandonment, SOC recovered to the primary forest level in about 40 years with a rate of 1.38 Mg C ha−1 yr−1. Exchangeable Ca and Mg were found to be the strongest predictors of SOC dynamics. Our results suggest that SOC content may recover rapidly following agricultural abandonment in the karst region of southwest China.

No MeSH data available.


Relationship between SOC content and years following agricultural abandonment (y = 41.23 + 54.64(1 − exp(−0.17×))76.28, r2 = 0.75, p < 0.0001, n = 21).Each point denotes the mixture of 10 soil samples in a plot.
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f2: Relationship between SOC content and years following agricultural abandonment (y = 41.23 + 54.64(1 − exp(−0.17×))76.28, r2 = 0.75, p < 0.0001, n = 21).Each point denotes the mixture of 10 soil samples in a plot.

Mentions: SOC dynamics with years following agricultural abandonment could be well fitted with a Chapman function (Fig. 2). According to the fitting, the time needed for SOC content to reach 95% of steady state level was about 40 years. The average rate of SOC accumulation over the period of recovery was 1.38 Mg C ha−1 yr−1.


Soil organic carbon accumulation during post-agricultural succession in a karst area, southwest China
Relationship between SOC content and years following agricultural abandonment (y = 41.23 + 54.64(1 − exp(−0.17×))76.28, r2 = 0.75, p < 0.0001, n = 21).Each point denotes the mixture of 10 soil samples in a plot.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120287&req=5

f2: Relationship between SOC content and years following agricultural abandonment (y = 41.23 + 54.64(1 − exp(−0.17×))76.28, r2 = 0.75, p < 0.0001, n = 21).Each point denotes the mixture of 10 soil samples in a plot.
Mentions: SOC dynamics with years following agricultural abandonment could be well fitted with a Chapman function (Fig. 2). According to the fitting, the time needed for SOC content to reach 95% of steady state level was about 40 years. The average rate of SOC accumulation over the period of recovery was 1.38 Mg C ha−1 yr−1.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

This study was aimed to investigate the direction and magnitude of soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics and the underlying mechanisms following agricultural abandonment in a subtropical karst area, southwest China. Two post-agriculture succession sequences including grassland (~10 years), shrubland (~29 years), secondary forest (~59 years) and primary forest with cropland as reference were selected. SOC and other soil physicochemical variables in the soil depth of 0&ndash;15&thinsp;cm (representing the average soil depth of the slope in the studied area) were measured. SOC content in the grassland was not significantly elevated relative to the cropland (42.0&thinsp;&plusmn;&thinsp;7.3&thinsp;Mg C ha&minus;1). SOC content in the shrubland reached the level of the primary forest. On average, SOC content for the forest was 92.6&thinsp;&plusmn;&thinsp;4.2&thinsp;Mg C ha&minus;1, representing an increase of 120.4&thinsp;&plusmn;&thinsp;10.0% or 50.6&thinsp;&plusmn;&thinsp;4.2&thinsp;Mg ha&minus;1 relative to the cropland. Following agricultural abandonment, SOC recovered to the primary forest level in about 40 years with a rate of 1.38&thinsp;Mg C ha&minus;1 yr&minus;1. Exchangeable Ca and Mg were found to be the strongest predictors of SOC dynamics. Our results suggest that SOC content may recover rapidly following agricultural abandonment in the karst region of southwest China.

No MeSH data available.