Continental-scale measurement of the soil organic carbon pool with climatic, edaphic, and biotic controls

Wynn, Jonathan G., Bird, Michael I., Vellen, Lins, Grand-Clement, Emilie, Carter, John, and Berry, Sandra L. (2006) Continental-scale measurement of the soil organic carbon pool with climatic, edaphic, and biotic controls. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 20. pp. 1-12.

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Abstract

We present data on soil organic carbon (SOC) inventory for 7050 soil cores collected from a wide range of environmental conditions throughout Australia. The data set is stratified over the spatial distribution of trees and grass to account for variability of SOC inventory with vegetation distribution. We model controls on SOC inventory using an index of water availability and mean annual temperature to represent the climatic control on the rate of C input into the SOC pool and decomposition of SOC, in addition to the fraction of soil particles <63 μm in diameter as a measure of textural control on SOC stabilization. SOC inventories in the top 30 cm of soil increase from 35 mg/cm2 in the driest regions to a modeled plateau with respect to a threshold of water availability at 335 mg/cm2, excluding variables controlling SOC decomposition. Above this threshold, decomposition factors begin to control SOC inventory, which we attribute to energetic control on microbial decomposition rates, and relatively weak stabilization of SOC in association with fine particles. When combined, these relationships provide an overall prediction of SOC inventory that accounts for 89–90% of the variance observed in the measured data set. Deviations from this relationship are most likely due to additional factors that also control decomposition rate such as hydrochemical and soil drainage conditions not accounted for by soil texture. Outliers within this data set are explained with respect to these conditions.

Item ID: 18910
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1944-9224
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2011 02:09
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040203 Isotope Geochemistry @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961403 Forest and Woodlands Soils @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 2
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