Contrasting pH buffering patterns in neutral-alkaline soils along a 3600km transect in northern China

Luo, W.T., Nelson, P.N., Li, M.-H., Cai, J.P., Zhang, Y.Y., Zhang, Y.G., Yang, S., Wang, R.Z., Wang, Z.W., Wu, Y.N., Han, X.G., and Jiang, Y. (2015) Contrasting pH buffering patterns in neutral-alkaline soils along a 3600km transect in northern China. Biogeosciences, 12. pp. 7047-7056.

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Abstract

Soil pH buffering capacity (pHBC) plays a crucial role in predicting acidification rates, yet its large-scale patterns and controls are poorly understood, especially for neutral-alkaline soils. Here, we evaluated the spatial patterns and drivers of pHBC along a 3600 km long transect (1900 km sub-transect with carbonate-containing-soils and 1700 km sub-transect with non-carbonate-containing soils) across northern China. Soil pHBC was greater in the carbonate-containing soils than in the non-carbonate containing soils. Acid addition decreased soil pH in the non-carbonate-containing soils more markedly than in the carbonate-containing soils. Within the carbonate soil subtransect, soil pHBC was positively correlated with cation exchange capacity (CEC), carbonate content and exchangeable sodium (Na) concentration, but negatively correlated with initial pH and clay content, and not correlated with soil organic carbon (SOC) content.Within the non-carbonate sub-transect, soil pHBC was positively related to initial pH, clay content, CEC and exchangeable Na concentration, but not related to SOC content. Carbonate content was the primary determinant of pHBC in the carbonate-containing soils and CEC was the main determinant of buffering capacity in the non-carbonate-containing soils. Along the transect, soil pHBC was different in regions with different aridity index. Soil pHBC was positively related to aridity index and carbonate content across the carbonate-containing soil sub-transect. Our results indicated that mechanisms controlling pHBC differ among neutral-alkaline soils of northern China, especially between carbonate- and non-carbonate-containing soils. This understanding should be incorporated into the acidification risk assessment and landscape management in a changing world.

Item ID: 41546
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1726-4189
Keywords: acidification, grassland, soil degradation, climate, carbonate
Additional Information:

© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Funders: National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), National Basic Research Program of China (NBRPC)
Projects and Grants: NSFC grant 41371251 , NSFC grant 31470504, NBRPC 2011CB403204
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 03:52
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040607 Surface Processes @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050304 Soil Chemistry (excl Carbon Sequestration Science) @ 60%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8304 Pasture, Browse and Fodder Crops > 830403 Native and Residual Pastures @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils @ 80%
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