Baseline-Dependent Responses of Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics to Climate and Land Disturbances

Zhengxi Tan, Shuguang Liu
2013 Applied and Environmental Soil Science  
Terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration through optimizing land use and management is widely considered a realistic option to mitigate the global greenhouse effect. But how the responses of individual ecosystems to changes in land use and management are related to baseline soil organic C (SOC) levels still needs to be evaluated at various scales. In this study, we modeled SOC dynamics within both natural and managed ecosystems in North Dakota of the United States and found that the average SOC
more » ... the average SOC stock in the top 20 cm depth of soil lost at a rate of 450 kg C ha−1 yr−1in cropland and 110 kg C ha−1 yr−1in grassland between 1971 and 1998. Since 1998, the study area had become a SOC sink at a rate of 44 kg C ha−1 yr−1. The annual rate of SOC change in all types of lands substantially depends on the magnitude of initial SOC contents, but such dependency varies more with climatic variables within natural ecosystems and with management practices within managed ecosystems. Additionally, soils with high baseline SOC stocks tend to be C sources following any land surface disturbances, whereas soils having low baseline C contents likely become C sinks following conservation management.
doi:10.1155/2013/206758 fatcat:iuyb344iojhdbozkvhhlyao63a