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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 47(3)

Estimating topsoil SOC sequestration in croplands of eastern China from 1980 to 2000

Wenjuan Sun A C, Yao Huang A B D C, Wen Zhang A, Yongqiang Yu A

A LAPC, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, P. R. China.
B College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P. R. China.
C The first two authors contributed equally to this work.
D Corresponding author. Email: huangy@mail.iap.ac.cn
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Cropland may play a significant role in mitigating climate change by sequestering atmospheric CO2. To evaluate the extent of carbon sequestration, an examination of the changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) is essential. We compiled data from 50 published papers that reported changes in the SOC in eastern China over an area of 17.9 Mha. These data covered 76% of the total cropland in this area, with >8500 soil sample measurements. Changes in SOC density (ΔDoc ) in cultivated layers (Ap horizon) were estimated on the basis of the administrative regions and soil usage (paddy and upland soils), respectively. Linear relationships between ΔDoc in topsoil (Ap and P horizons, P horizon refers to the sub-cultivated layer) and in the Ap horizon were established to estimate the changes in topsoil organic carbon density. Changes in the SOC stock were determined from the acreage-weighted ΔDoc . Results indicated that the topsoil organic carbon density of croplands in eastern China increased by 5.78 t C/ha between 1980 and 2000, ranging from 4.24 to 7.49 t C/ha. The SOC stock increased by 75.4–134.1 Tg with an average of 103.5 Tg. Paddy soils, comprising 51.7% of the cropland area, accounted for ~70% of the total increase. The SOC increase in the Ap horizon accounted for ~88% (upland soils) and 71% (paddy soils) of that in the topsoil, respectively. The increase in SOC may be attributed to an increased biomass (e.g. residue retainment) input into soils due to increased crop net primary production.

Keywords: SOC change, upland soil, paddy soil, administrative regions, soil usage.

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