Soil Research Soil Research Society
Soil, land care and environmental research
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Carbon storage in a Ferrosol under subtropical rainforest, tree plantations, and pasture is linked to soil aggregation

Anna E. Richards A B C D E , Ram C. Dalal B C and Susanne Schmidt A

A School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia.

B Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting.

C Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, 80 Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly, Qld 4068, Australia.

D Current address: CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre, PMB 44, Winnellie, NT 0822, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: Anna.Richards@csiro.au

Australian Journal of Soil Research 47(4) 341-350 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SR08162
Submitted: 15 July 2008  Accepted: 6 March 2009   Published: 30 June 2009

Abstract

Soil is a large sink for carbon (C), with the potential to significantly reduce the net increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. However, we previously showed that subtropical tree plantations store less C into long-term soil pools than rainforest or pasture. To explore reasons for differences in C storage between different land-use systems, we examined the relationships between soil aggregation, iron and aluminium oxide and hydroxide content, and soil organic C (SOC) under exotic C4 pasture (Pennisetum clandestinum), native hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) plantations, and rainforest. We measured SOC concentrations of water-stable and fully dispersed aggregates to assess the location of soil C. Concentrations of dithionite- and oxalate-extractable iron and aluminium were also determined to assess their role in SOC sequestration. Soil under rainforest and pasture contained more C in intra-aggregate particulate organic matter (iPOM, >53 μm) than hoop pine plantations, indicating that in rainforest and pasture, greater stabilisation of SOC occurred via soil aggregation. SOC was not significantly correlated with dithionite- and oxalate-extractable Fe and Al in these systems, indicating that sorption sites of Fe and Al oxides and hydroxides were saturated. We concluded that soil C under rainforest and pasture is stabilised by incorporation within soil aggregates, which results in greater storage of C in soil under pasture than plantations following land-use change. The reduced storage of C as iPOM in plantation soil contributes to the negative soil C budget of plantations compared with rainforest and pasture, even 63 years after establishment. The results have relevance for CO2 mitigation schemes based on tree plantations.

Additional keywords: Fe and Al oxides, imSOC, iPOM, soil organic carbon, carbon sequestration.


References

Achard F Eva HD Stibig H Mayaux P Gallego J Richards T Malingreau J 2002 Determination of deforestation rates of the world’s humid tropical forests. Science 297 999 1002 doi:10.1126/science.1070656

Ashagrie Y Zech W Guggenberger G 2005 Transformation of a Podocarpus falcatus dominated natural forest into a monoculture Eucalyptus globulus plantation at Munesa, Ethiopia: soil organic C, N and S dynamics in primary particle and aggregate-size fractions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 106 89 98 doi:10.1016/j.agee.2004.07.015

Baldock JA Skjemstad JO 2000 Role of the soil matrix and minerals in protecting natural organic materials against biological attack. Organic Geochemistry 31 697 710 doi:10.1016/S0146-6380(00)00049-8

Beare MH Cabrera ML Hendrix PF Coleman DC 1994 a Aggregate-protected and unprotected organic matter pools in conventional- and no-tillage soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 58 787 795

Beare MH Hendrix PF Coleman DC 1994 b Water-stable aggregates and organic matter fractions in conventional- and no-tillage soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 58 777 786


Bera R Seal A Banerjee M Dolui AK 2005 Nature and profile distribution of iron and aluminium in relation to pedogenic processes in some soils developed under tropical environments in India. Environmental Geology 47 241 245
doi:10.1007/s00254-004-1149-2

Berish CW Ewel JJ 1988 Root development in simple and complex tropical successional ecosystems. Plant and Soil 106 73 84 doi:10.1007/BF02371197

Blume HP Schwertmann U 1969 Genetic evaluation of profile distribution of aluminium, iron, and manganese oxides. Soil Science Society of America Proceedings 33 438 444

Cambardella CA Elliott ET 1992 Particulate soil organic-matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Science Society of America Journal 56 777 783


Christensen BT (1996) Matching measurable soil organic matter fractions with conceptual pools in simulation models of carbon turnover: Revision of model structure. In ‘Evaluation of soil organic matter models’. (Eds DS Powlson, P Smith, JU Smith) pp. 143–159. (Springer-Verlag: Berlin)

Dalal RC Harms BP Krull ES Wang WJ 2005 Total soil organic matter and its labile pools following mulga (Acacia aneura) clearing for pasture development and cropping 1. Total and labile carbon. Australian Journal of Soil Research 43 13 20
doi:10.1071/SR04044

Elliott ET Palm CA Reuss DE Monz CA 1991 Organic matter contained in soil aggregates from a tropical chronosequence: correction for sand and light fraction. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 34 443 451 doi:10.1016/0167-8809(91)90127-J

Eusterhues K Rumpel C Kleber M Kögel-Knabner I 2003 Stabilisation of soil organic matter by interactions with minerals as revealed by mineral dissolution and oxidative degradation. Organic Geochemistry 34 1591 1600 doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2003.08.007

FAO (1998) ‘World reference base for soil resources. No. 84.’ (FAO: Rome)

FAO (2005) ‘Global forest resources assessment 2005: Progress towards sustainable forest management.’ (FAO: Rome)

Fearnside PM 2000 Global warming and tropical land-use change: Greenhouse gas emissions from biomass burning, decomposition and soils in forest conversion, shifting cultivation and secondary vegetation. Climatic Change 46 115 158 doi:10.1023/A:1005569915357

Feller C Beare MH 1997 Physical control of soil organic matter dynamics in the tropics. Geoderma 79 69 116 doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(97)00039-6

García-Oliva F Lancho JFG Montaño NM Islas P 2006 Soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics followed by a forest-to-pasture conversion in western Mexico. Agroforestry Systems 66 93 100 doi:10.1007/s10457-005-2917-z

García-Oliva F Sanford RL Jr Kelly E 1999 Effects of slash-and-burn management on soil aggregate organic C and N in a tropical deciduous forest. Geoderma 88 1 12 doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(98)00063-9

Guggenberger G , Haider KM (2002) Effect of mineral colloids on biogeochemical cycling of C, N, P, and S in soil. In ‘Interactions between soil particles and microorganisms: Impact on the terrestrial ecosystem’. (Eds PM Huang, J-M Bollag, N Senesi) pp. 267–322. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester, UK)

Guggenberger G Kaiser K 2003 Dissolved organic matter in soil: challenging the paradigm of sorptive preservation. Geoderma 113 293 310 doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(02)00366-X

Guo LB Gifford RM 2002 Soil carbon stocks and land use change: a meta analysis. Global Change Biology 8 345 360 doi:10.1046/j.1354-1013.2002.00486.x

Hsu PH (1989) Aluminium hydroxides and oxyhydroxides. In ‘Minerals in soil environments’. (Eds JB Dixon, SB Weed) pp. 331–378. (Soil Science Society of America: Madison, WI)

Isbell RF 1994 Krasnozems—A profile. Australian Journal of Soil Research 32 915 929 doi:10.1071/SR9940915

Isbell RF (2002) ‘The Australian Soil Classification.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood, Vic.)

Jastrow JD 1996 Soil aggregate formation and the accrual of particulate and mineral-associated organic matter. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 28 665 676 doi:10.1016/0038-0717(95)00159-X

Jastrow JD , Miller RM (1998) Soil aggregate stabilisation and carbon sequestration: Feedbacks through organomineral associations. In ‘Soil processes and the carbon cycle’. (Eds R Lal, JM Kimble, RF Follett, BA Stewart) pp. 207–223. (CRC Press LLC: Boca Raton, FL)

Jeffrey SJ Carter JO Moodie KB Beswick AR 2001 Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data. Environmental Modelling & Software 16 309 330 doi:10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1

Jones DL Edwards AC 1998 Influence of sorption on the biological utilization of two simple carbon substrates. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 30 1895 1902 doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(98)00060-1

Kaiser K Eusterhues K Rumpel C Guggenberger G Kögel-Knabner I 2002 Stabilisation of organic matter by soil minerals – investigations of density and particle-size fractions from two acid forest soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 165 451 459 doi:10.1002/1522-2624(200208)165:4<451::AID-JPLN451>3.0.CO;2-B

Kaiser K Guggenberger G 2003 Mineral surfaces and soil organic matter. European Journal of Soil Science 54 219 236 doi:10.1046/j.1365-2389.2003.00544.x

Kalbitz K Schwesig D Rethemayer J Matzner E 2005 Stabilisation of dissolved organic matter by sorption to the mineral soil. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 37 1319 1331 doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.11.028

Kiem R Kögel-Knabner I 2002 Refactory organic carbon in particle-size fractions of arable soils II: organic carbon in relation to mineral surface area and iron oxides in fractions <6 µm. Organic Geochemistry 33 1699 1713 doi:10.1016/S0146-6380(02)00112-2

Kleber M Mikutta R Torn MS Jahn R 2005 Poorly crystalline mineral phases protect organic matter in acid subsoil horizons. European Journal of Soil Science 56 717 725

Krishnaswamy J Richter D 2002 Properties of advanced weathering-stage soils in tropical forests and pastures. Soil Science Society of America Journal 66 244 253


Krull ES Baldock JA Skjemstad JO 2003 Importance of mechanisms and processes of the stabilisation of soil organic matter for modeling carbon turnover. Functional Plant Biology 30 207 222
doi:10.1071/FP02085

López-Ulloa M Veldcamp E de Koning GHJ 2005 Soil carbon stabilisation in converted tropical pastures and forests depends on soil type. Soil Science Society of America Journal 69 1110 1117

Lützow Mv Kögel-Knabner I Ekschmitt K Matzner E Guggenberger G Marschner B Flessa H 2006 Stabilisation of organic matter in temperate soils: mechanisms and their relevance under different soil conditions – a review. European Journal of Soil Science 57 426 445
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2389.2006.00809.x

Mayaux P Holmgren P Achard F Eva H Stibig H Branthomme A 2005 Tropical forest cover change in the 1990s and options for future monitoring. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 360 373 384 doi:10.1098/rstb.2004.1590

McKeague JA Day JH 1966 Dithionite- and oxalate-extractable Fe and Al as aids in differentiating various classes of soils. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 46 3 22

Mehra OP Jackson ML 1960 Iron oxide removal from soils and clays by a dithionite-citrate system buffered with sodium bicarbonate. Clays and Clay Minerals 7 317 327
doi:10.1346/CCMN.1958.0070122

Mikutta R Kleber M Torn MS Jahn R 2006 Stabilisation of soil organic matter: association with minerals or chemical recalcitrance? Biogeochemistry 77 25 56 doi:10.1007/s10533-005-0712-6

Miltner A Zech W 1998 Beech leaf litter lignin degradation and transformation as influenced by mineral phases. Organic Geochemistry 28 457 463 doi:10.1016/S0146-6380(98)00019-9

Oades JM Waters AG 1991 Aggregate hierarchy in soils. Australian Journal of Soil Research 29 815 828 doi:10.1071/SR9910815

Pai C-W Wang M-K Zhuang S-Y King H-B 2004 Free and non-crystalline Fe-oxides to total iron concentration ratios correlated with 14C ages of three forest soils in central Taiwan. Soil Science 169 582 589 doi:10.1097/01.ss.0000138419.22546.00

Parfitt RL Childs CW 1988 Estimation of forms of Fe and Al: a review, and analysis of contrasting soils by dissolution and Moessbauer methods. Australian Journal of Soil Research 26 121 144 doi:10.1071/SR9880121

Park SJ Burt TP 1999 Identification of throughflow using the distribution of secondary iron oxides in soils. Geoderma 93 61 84 doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(99)00042-7

Paul KI Polglase PJ Nyakuengama JG Khanna PK 2002 Change in soil carbon following afforestation. Forest Ecology and Management 168 241 257 doi:10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00740-X

Powers JS Schlesinger WH 2002 Relationships among soil carbon distributions and biophysical factors at nested spatial scales in rain forests of northeastern Costa Rica. Geoderma 109 165 190 doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(02)00147-7

Rayment GE , Higginson FR (1992) ‘Australian laboratory handbook of soil and water chemical methods.’ (Inkata Press: Melbourne, Vic.)

Richards AE Dalal RC Schmidt S 2007 Soil carbon turnover and sequestration in native subtropical tree plantations. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 39 2078 2090 doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.03.012

Schwertmann U , Kodama H , Fischer WR (1986) Mutual interactions between organics and iron oxides. In ‘Interactions of soil minerals with natural organics and microbes’. (Eds PM Huang, M Schnitzer) pp. 223–250. (Soil Science Society of America: Madison, WI)

Schwertmann U , Taylor RM (1989) Iron oxides. In ‘Minerals in soil environments’. (Eds JB Dixon, SB Weed) pp. 379–438. (Soil Science Society of America: Madison, WI)

Six J Callewaert P Lenders S De Gryze S Morris SJ Gregorich EG Paul EA Paustian K 2002 b Measuring and understanding carbon storage in afforested soils by physical fractionation. Soil Science Society of America Journal 66 1981 1987

Six J Conant RT Paul EA Paustian K 2002 a Stabilisation mechanisms of soil organic matter: Implications for C-saturation of soils. Plant and Soil 241 155 176
doi:10.1023/A:1016125726789

Six J Elliott ET Paustian K 2000 a Soil macroaggregate turnover and microaggregate formation: a mechanism for C sequestration under no-tillage agriculture. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 32 2099 2103 doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(00)00179-6

Six J Elliott ET Paustian K Doran JW 1998 Aggregation and soil organic matter accumulation in cultivated and natural grassland soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 62 1367 1377

Six J Paustian K Elliott ET Combrink C 2000 b Soil structure and organic matter: I. Distribution of aggregate-size classes and aggregate-associated carbon. Soil Science Society of America Journal 64 681 689


Sollins P Homann P Caldwell BA 1996 Stabilisation and destabilisation of soil organic matter: mechanisms and controls. Geoderma 74 65 105
doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(96)00036-5

SSSA (1997) ‘Glossary of soil science terms.’ (Soil Science Society of America, Inc.: Madison, WI)

Tabachnick BG , Fidell LS (2007) ‘Using multivariate statistics.’ (Pearson Education Inc.: Boston, MA)

Tisdall CA Oades JM 1982 Organic matter and water-stable aggregates in soils. Journal of Soil Science 33 141 163 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2389.1982.tb01755.x

Torn MS Trumbore SE Chadwick OA Vitousek PM Hendricks DM 1997 Mineral control of soil organic carbon storage and turnover. Nature 389 170 173 doi:10.1038/38260

Turner J Lambert M Johnson DW 2005 Experience with patterns of change in soil carbon resulting from forest plantation establishment in eastern Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 220 259 269 doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2005.08.025

van Hees PAW Vinogradoff SI Edwards AC Godbold DL Jones DL 2003 Low molecular weight organic acid adsorption in forest soils: effects on soil solution concentrations and biodegradation rates. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 35 1015 1026 doi:10.1016/S0038-0717(03)00144-5

Wagai R Mayer LM 2007 Sorptive stabilisation of organic matter in soils by hydrous iron oxides. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71 25 35 doi:10.1016/j.gca.2006.08.047

Webb L 1959 A physiognomic classification of Australian rain forests. Journal of Ecology 47 551 570 doi:10.2307/2257290

Wiseman CLS Püttmann W 2005 Soil organic carbon and its sorptive preservation in central Germany. European Journal of Soil Science 56 65 76 doi:10.1111/j.1351-0754.2004.00655.x



Export Citation