Articles | Volume 11, issue 22
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Aggregates reduce transport distance of soil organic carbon: are our balances correct?
Physical Geography and Environmental Change Research Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 27, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
N. J. Kuhn
Physical Geography and Environmental Change Research Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 27, 4056 Basel, Switzerland
L. Xiao, Y. Hu, P. Greenwood, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 167–174,
Brice Prudat, Wolfgang Fister, Lena Bloemertz, Juliane Krenz, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 77, 39–51,Short summary
Soil quality depends on water availability for plants. Sandy soils with a poorly permeable layer (fragipan) are considered inept for agriculture. However they are cultivated in Namibia as they secure a minimum harvest during droughts. In order to understand the hydrological influence of fragipans in these soils, soil moisture content was measured. The results illustrate that the combination of sandy topsoil and shallow fragipan has beneficial effects on plant-available water during dry periods.
Philip Greenwood, Jan Bauer, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 76, 319–333,Short summary
Soil erosion by wind and water is a commonly recognized phenomenon on agricultural land. Erosion in forests is studied less and generally considered to be limited because of the soil protection by vegetation. However, trees, when toppled because of old age or wind, loosen a considerable amount of soil when their roots are pulled from the ground. In addition, the holes left in the ground act as collectors for water and concentrated runoff, causing significant soil loss on forested slopes.
Matthias Hunziker, Olafur Arnalds, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
SOIL, 5, 223–238,Short summary
Afforestation on severely degraded volcanic soils/landscapes is an important process concerning ecological restoration in Iceland. These landscapes have a high potential to act as carbon sinks. We tested the soil (0–30 cm) of different stages of afforested (mountain birch) landscapes and analysed the quantity and quality of the soil organic carbon. There is an increase in the total SOC stock during the encroachment. The increase is mostly because of POM SOC. Such soils demand SOC quality tests.
Wolfgang Fister, Nina Goldman, Marius Mayer, Manuel Suter, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 74, 81–91,
Vladimir R. Wingate, Nikolaus J. Kuhn, Stuart R. Phinn, and Cornelis van der Waal
Manuscript not accepted for further review
Brice Prudat, Lena Bloemertz, and Nikolaus J. Kuhn
SOIL, 4, 47–62,Short summary
Soil degradation is a major threat for farmers of semi-arid north-central Namibia. Having tools to assess soil quality is important to evaluate soil conditions and helps targeting important issues. We developed a soil evaluation toolbox that integrates farmers' field experiences and technical knowledge. The combination of local soil descriptions, field soil texture evaluation and soil colour provides locally meaningful information that reveals soil quality improvement potentials.
P. Greenwood, M. Hoelzle, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 311–313,Short summary
Editorial introducing the special issue of Geographica Helvetica: Mapping, Measuring and Modeling in Geomorphology.
L. Xiao, Y. Hu, P. Greenwood, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 167–174,
P. Greenwood, S. Kuonen, W. Fister, and N. J. Kuhn
Geogr. Helv., 70, 63–73,Short summary
Alpine and mountain slopes represent important pathways that link high-altitude grazing areas to meadows and rangelands at lower elevations. Given the acute gradients associated with such environments, we hypothesize that terracettes act as efficient runoff conveyance routes that facilitate the movement of runoff and associated material during erosion events. This hypothesis was partially disproved during a series of rainfall/runoff simulations on a well-developed terracette system, however.
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Assessing thermal stability of physically and chemically fractionated soil organic matterDifferential temperature sensitivity of intracellular metabolic processes and extracellular soil enzyme activitiesMapping soil organic carbon fractions for Australia, their stocks, and uncertaintyTechnical note: The recovery rate of free particulate organic matter from soil samples is strongly affected by the method of density fractionationDeforestation for agriculture leads to soil warming and enhanced litter decomposition in subarctic soilsGlobal patterns and drivers of phosphorus pools in natural soilsTemperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon respiration along a forested elevation gradient in the Rwenzori Mountains, UgandaThe influence of elevated CO2 and soil depth on rhizosphere activity and nutrient availability in a mature Eucalyptus woodlandThe paradox of assessing greenhouse gases from soils for nature-based solutionsManagement-induced changes in soil organic carbon on global croplandsPore network modeling as a new tool for determining gas diffusivity in peatReviews and syntheses: Iron: A driver of nitrogen bioavailability in soils?Temperature sensitivity of dark CO2 fixation in temperate forest soilsEffects of precipitation seasonality, irrigation, vegetation cycle and soil type on enhanced weathering – modeling of cropland case studies across four sitesStable isotope profiles of soil organic carbon in forested and grassland landscapes in the Lake Alaotra basin (Madagascar): insights in past vegetation changesReviews and syntheses: The promise of big diverse soil data, moving current practices towards future potentialDynamics of rare earth elements and associated major and trace elements during Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) litter degradationTo what extent can soil moisture and soil Cu contamination stresses affect nitrous species emissions? 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Shane W. Stoner, Marion Schrumpf, Alison Hoyt, Carlos A. Sierra, Sebastian Doetterl, Valier Galy, and Susan Trumbore
Biogeosciences, 20, 3151–3163,Short summary
Soils store more carbon (C) than any other terrestrial C reservoir, but the processes that control how much C stays in soil, and for how long, are very complex. Here, we used a recent method that involves heating soil in the lab to measure the range of C ages in soil. We found that most C in soil is decades to centuries old, while some stays for much shorter times (days to months), and some is thousands of years old. Such detail helps us to estimate how soil C may react to changing climate.
Adetunji Alex Adekanmbi, Laurence Dale, Liz Shaw, and Tom Sizmur
Biogeosciences, 20, 2207–2219,Short summary
The decomposition of soil organic matter and flux of carbon dioxide are expected to increase as temperatures rise. However, soil organic matter decomposition is a two-step process whereby large molecules are first broken down outside microbial cells and then respired within microbial cells. We show here that these two steps are not equally sensitive to increases in soil temperature and that global warming may cause a shift in the rate-limiting step from outside to inside the microbial cell.
Mercedes Román Dobarco, Alexandre M. J-C. Wadoux, Brendan Malone, Budiman Minasny, Alex B. McBratney, and Ross Searle
Biogeosciences, 20, 1559–1586,Short summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is of a heterogeneous nature and varies in chemistry, stabilisation mechanisms, and persistence in soil. In this study we mapped the stocks of SOC fractions with different characteristics and turnover rates (presumably PyOC >= MAOC > POC) across Australia, combining spectroscopy and digital soil mapping. The SOC stocks (0–30 cm) were estimated as 13 Pg MAOC, 2 Pg POC, and 5 Pg PyOC.
Biogeosciences, 20, 1529–1535,Short summary
Ultrasonication with density fractionation of soils is a commonly used method to separate soil organic matter pools, which is, e.g., important to calculate carbon turnover in landscapes. It is shown that the approach that merges soil and dense solution without mixing has a low recovery rate and causes co-extraction of parts of the retained labile pool along with the intermediate pool. An alternative method with high recovery rates and no cross-contamination was recommended.
Tino Peplau, Christopher Poeplau, Edward Gregorich, and Julia Schroeder
Biogeosciences, 20, 1063–1074,Short summary
We buried tea bags and temperature loggers in a paired-plot design in soils under forest and agricultural land and retrieved them after 2 years to quantify the effect of land-use change on soil temperature and litter decomposition in subarctic agricultural systems. We could show that agricultural soils were on average 2 °C warmer than forests and that litter decomposition was enhanced. The results imply that deforestation amplifies effects of climate change on soil organic matter dynamics.
Xianjin He, Laurent Augusto, Daniel S. Goll, Bruno Ringeval, Ying-Ping Wang, Julian Helfenstein, Yuanyuan Huang, and Enqing Hou
Revised manuscript accepted for BGShort summary
We identified total soil P as the most important predictor of all soil P pool concentrations, except for primary mineral P concentration, which is primarily controlled by soil pH. We found soil pH is the most important predictor for proportions of all soil P pools, except for labile Pi proportion, which is primarily controlled by soil depth. We predicted soil P pools’ distributions in natural systems at a resolution of 0.5° × 0.5°.
Joseph Okello, Marijn Bauters, Hans Verbeeck, Samuel Bodé, John Kasenene, Astrid Françoys, Till Engelhardt, Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Ralf Kiese, and Pascal Boeckx
Biogeosciences, 20, 719–735,Short summary
The increase in global and regional temperatures has the potential to drive accelerated soil organic carbon losses in tropical forests. We simulated climate warming by translocating intact soil cores from higher to lower elevations. The results revealed increasing temperature sensitivity and decreasing losses of soil organic carbon with increasing elevation. Our results suggest that climate warming may trigger enhanced losses of soil organic carbon from tropical montane forests.
Johanna Pihlblad, Louise C. Andresen, Catriona A. Macdonald, David S. Ellsworth, and Yolima Carrillo
Biogeosciences, 20, 505–521,Short summary
Elevated CO2 in the atmosphere increases forest biomass productivity when growth is not limited by soil nutrients. This study explores how mature trees stimulate soil availability of nitrogen and phosphorus with free-air carbon dioxide enrichment after 5 years of fumigation. We found that both nutrient availability and processes feeding available pools increased in the rhizosphere, and phosphorus increased at depth. This appears to not be by decomposition but by faster recycling of nutrients.
Rodrigo Vargas and Van Huong Le
Biogeosciences, 20, 15–26,Short summary
Quantifying the role of soils in nature-based solutions requires accurate estimates of soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes. We suggest that multiple GHG fluxes should not be simultaneously measured at a few fixed time intervals, but an optimized sampling approach can reduce bias and uncertainty. Our results have implications for assessing GHG fluxes from soils and a better understanding of the role of soils in nature-based solutions.
Kristine Karstens, Benjamin Leon Bodirsky, Jan Philipp Dietrich, Marta Dondini, Jens Heinke, Matthias Kuhnert, Christoph Müller, Susanne Rolinski, Pete Smith, Isabelle Weindl, Hermann Lotze-Campen, and Alexander Popp
Biogeosciences, 19, 5125–5149,Short summary
Soil organic carbon (SOC) has been depleted by anthropogenic land cover change and agricultural management. While SOC models often simulate detailed biochemical processes, the management decisions are still little investigated at the global scale. We estimate that soils have lost around 26 GtC relative to a counterfactual natural state in 1975. Yet, since 1975, SOC has been increasing again by 4 GtC due to a higher productivity, recycling of crop residues and manure, and no-tillage practices.
Petri Kiuru, Marjo Palviainen, Arianna Marchionne, Tiia Grönholm, Maarit Raivonen, Lukas Kohl, and Annamari Laurén
Biogeosciences, 19, 5041–5058,Short summary
Peatlands are large carbon stocks. Emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from peatlands may increase due to changes in management and climate. We studied the variation in the gas diffusivity of peat with depth using pore network simulations and laboratory experiments. Gas diffusivity was found to be lower in deeper peat with smaller pores and lower pore connectivity. However, gas diffusivity was not extremely low in wet conditions, which may reflect the distinctive structure of peat.
Imane Slimani, Xia-Zhu Barker, Patricia Lazicki, and William Horwath
Revised manuscript accepted for BGShort summary
In soils, there is a strong link between nitrogen availability and iron minerals. Indeed, these minerals are an important piece of puzzle of how nitrogen is produced and lost from soil. However, they have multiple outcomes on nitrogen availability depending on soil conditions and properties. For example, iron can limit microbial degradation of nitrogen in aerated soils but has opposing outcomes in non-aerated soils. This paper focuses on the multiple ways iron can affect nitrogen in soils.
Rachael Akinyede, Martin Taubert, Marion Schrumpf, Susan Trumbore, and Kirsten Küsel
Biogeosciences, 19, 4011–4028,Short summary
Soils will likely become warmer in the future, and this can increase the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. As microbes can take up soil CO2 and prevent further escape into the atmosphere, this study compares the rate of uptake and release of CO2 at two different temperatures. With warming, the rate of CO2 uptake increases less than the rate of release, indicating that the capacity to modulate soil CO2 release into the atmosphere will decrease under future warming.
Giuseppe Cipolla, Salvatore Calabrese, Amilcare Porporato, and Leonardo V. Noto
Biogeosciences, 19, 3877–3896,Short summary
Enhanced weathering (EW) is a promising strategy for carbon sequestration. Since models may help to characterize field EW, the present work applies a hydro-biogeochemical model to four case studies characterized by different rainfall seasonality, vegetation and soil type. Rainfall seasonality strongly affects EW dynamics, but low carbon sequestration suggests that an in-depth analysis at the global scale is required to see if EW may be effective to mitigate climate change.
Vao Fenotiana Razanamahandry, Marjolein Dewaele, Gerard Govers, Liesa Brosens, Benjamin Campforts, Liesbet Jacobs, Tantely Razafimbelo, Tovonarivo Rafolisy, and Steven Bouillon
Biogeosciences, 19, 3825–3841,Short summary
In order to shed light on possible past vegetation shifts in the Central Highlands of Madagascar, we measured stable isotope ratios of organic carbon in soil profiles along both forested and grassland hillslope transects in the Lake Alaotra region. Our results show that the landscape of this region was more forested in the past: soils in the C4-dominated grasslands contained a substantial fraction of C3-derived carbon, increasing with depth.
Katherine E. O. Todd-Brown, Rose Z. Abramoff, Jeffrey Beem-Miller, Hava K. Blair, Stevan Earl, Kristen J. Frederick, Daniel R. Fuka, Mario Guevara Santamaria, Jennifer W. Harden, Katherine Heckman, Lillian J. Heran, James R. Holmquist, Alison M. Hoyt, David H. Klinges, David S. LeBauer, Avni Malhotra, Shelby C. McClelland, Lucas E. Nave, Katherine S. Rocci, Sean M. Schaeffer, Shane Stoner, Natasja van Gestel, Sophie F. von Fromm, and Marisa L. Younger
Biogeosciences, 19, 3505–3522,Short summary
Research data are becoming increasingly available online with tantalizing possibilities for reanalysis. However harmonizing data from different sources remains challenging. Using the soils community as an example, we walked through the various strategies that researchers currently use to integrate datasets for reanalysis. We find that manual data transcription is still extremely common and that there is a critical need for community-supported informatics tools like vocabularies and ontologies.
Alessandro Montemagno, Christophe Hissler, Victor Bense, Adriaan J. Teuling, Johanna Ziebel, and Laurent Pfister
Biogeosciences, 19, 3111–3129,Short summary
We investigated the biogeochemical processes that dominate the release and retention of elements (nutrients and potentially toxic elements) during litter degradation. Our results show that toxic elements are retained in the litter, while nutrients are released in solution during the first stages of degradation. This seems linked to the capability of trees to distribute the elements between degradation-resistant and non-degradation-resistant compounds of leaves according to their chemical nature.
Laura Sereni, Bertrand Guenet, Charlotte Blasi, Olivier Crouzet, Jean-Christophe Lata, and Isabelle Lamy
Biogeosciences, 19, 2953–2968,Short summary
This study focused on the modellisation of two important drivers of soil greenhouse gas emissions: soil contamination and soil moisture change. The aim was to include a Cu function in the soil biogeochemical model DNDC for different soil moisture conditions and then to estimate variation in N2O, NO2 or NOx emissions. Our results show a larger effect of Cu on N2 and N2O emissions than on the other nitrogen species and a higher effect for the soils incubated under constant constant moisture.
Marie Spohn and Johan Stendahl
Biogeosciences, 19, 2171–2186,Short summary
We explored the ratios of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) of organic matter in Swedish forest soils. The N : P ratio of the organic layer was most strongly related to the mean annual temperature, while the C : N ratios of the organic layer and mineral soil were strongly related to tree species even in the subsoil. The organic P concentration in the mineral soil was strongly affected by soil texture, which diminished the effect of tree species on the C to organic P (C : OP) ratio.
Moritz Mainka, Laura Summerauer, Daniel Wasner, Gina Garland, Marco Griepentrog, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, and Sebastian Doetterl
Biogeosciences, 19, 1675–1689,Short summary
The largest share of terrestrial carbon is stored in soils, making them highly relevant as regards global change. Yet, the mechanisms governing soil carbon stabilization are not well understood. The present study contributes to a better understanding of these processes. We show that qualitative changes in soil organic matter (SOM) co-vary with alterations of the soil matrix following soil weathering. Hence, the type of SOM that is stabilized in soils might change as soils develop.
Jasmin Fetzer, Emmanuel Frossard, Klaus Kaiser, and Frank Hagedorn
Biogeosciences, 19, 1527–1546,Short summary
As leaching is a major pathway of nitrogen and phosphorus loss in forest soils, we investigated several potential drivers in two contrasting beech forests. The composition of leachates, obtained by zero-tension lysimeters, varied by season, and climatic extremes influenced the magnitude of leaching. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization varied with soil nutrient status and sorption properties, and leaching from the low-nutrient soil was more sensitive to environmental factors.
Karis J. McFarlane, Heather M. Throckmorton, Jeffrey M. Heikoop, Brent D. Newman, Alexandra L. Hedgpeth, Marisa N. Repasch, Thomas P. Guilderson, and Cathy J. Wilson
Biogeosciences, 19, 1211–1223,Short summary
Planetary warming is increasing seasonal thaw of permafrost, making this extensive old carbon stock vulnerable. In northern Alaska, we found more and older dissolved organic carbon in small drainages later in summer as more permafrost was exposed by deepening thaw. Younger and older carbon did not differ in chemical indicators related to biological lability suggesting this carbon can cycle through aquatic systems and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions as warming increases permafrost thaw.
Pengzhi Zhao, Daniel Joseph Fallu, Sara Cucchiaro, Paolo Tarolli, Clive Waddington, David Cockcroft, Lisa Snape, Andreas Lang, Sebastian Doetterl, Antony G. Brown, and Kristof Van Oost
Biogeosciences, 18, 6301–6312,Short summary
We investigate the factors controlling the soil organic carbon (SOC) stability and temperature sensitivity of abandoned prehistoric agricultural terrace soils. Results suggest that the burial of former topsoil due to terracing provided an SOC stabilization mechanism. Both the soil C : N ratio and SOC mineral protection regulate soil SOC temperature sensitivity. However, which mechanism predominantly controls SOC temperature sensitivity depends on the age of the buried terrace soils.
Heleen Deroo, Masuda Akter, Samuel Bodé, Orly Mendoza, Haichao Li, Pascal Boeckx, and Steven Sleutel
Biogeosciences, 18, 5035–5051,Short summary
We assessed if and how incorporation of exogenous organic carbon (OC) such as straw could affect decomposition of native soil organic carbon (SOC) under different irrigation regimes. Addition of exogenous OC promoted dissolution of native SOC, partly because of increased Fe reduction, leading to more net release of Fe-bound SOC. Yet, there was no proportionate priming of SOC-derived DOC mineralisation. Water-saving irrigation can retard both priming of SOC dissolution and mineralisation.
Frances A. Podrebarac, Sharon A. Billings, Kate A. Edwards, Jérôme Laganière, Matthew J. Norwood, and Susan E. Ziegler
Biogeosciences, 18, 4755–4772,Short summary
Soil respiration is a large and temperature-responsive flux in the global carbon cycle. We found increases in microbial use of easy to degrade substrates enhanced the temperature response of respiration in soils layered as they are in situ. This enhanced response is consistent with soil composition differences in warm relative to cold climate forests. These results highlight the importance of the intact nature of soils rarely studied in regulating responses of CO2 fluxes to changing temperature.
Elisa Bruni, Bertrand Guenet, Yuanyuan Huang, Hugues Clivot, Iñigo Virto, Roberta Farina, Thomas Kätterer, Philippe Ciais, Manuel Martin, and Claire Chenu
Biogeosciences, 18, 3981–4004,Short summary
Increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks is beneficial for climate change mitigation and food security. One way to enhance SOC stocks is to increase carbon input to the soil. We estimate the amount of carbon input required to reach a 4 % annual increase in SOC stocks in 14 long-term agricultural experiments around Europe. We found that annual carbon input should increase by 43 % under current temperature conditions, by 54 % for a 1 °C warming scenario and by 120 % for a 5 °C warming scenario.
Rainer Brumme, Bernd Ahrends, Joachim Block, Christoph Schulz, Henning Meesenburg, Uwe Klinck, Markus Wagner, and Partap K. Khanna
Biogeosciences, 18, 3763–3779,Short summary
In order to study the fate of litter nitrogen in forest soils, we combined a leaf litterfall exchange experiment using 15N-labeled leaf litter with long-term element budgets at seven European beech sites in Germany. It appears that fructification intensity, which has increased in recent decades, has a distinct impact on N retention in forest soils. Despite reduced nitrogen deposition, about 6 and 10 kg ha−1 of nitrogen were retained annually in the soils and in the forest stands, respectively.
Lorenz Gfeller, Andrea Weber, Isabelle Worms, Vera I. Slaveykova, and Adrien Mestrot
Biogeosciences, 18, 3445–3465,Short summary
Our incubation experiment shows that flooding of polluted floodplain soils may induce pulses of both mercury (Hg) and methylmercury to the soil solution and threaten downstream ecosystems. We demonstrate that mobilization of Hg bound to manganese oxides is a relevant process in organic-matter-poor soils. Addition of organic amendments accelerates this mobilization but also facilitates the formation of nanoparticulate Hg and the subsequent fixation of Hg from soil solution to the soil.
Yao Zhang, Jocelyn M. Lavallee, Andy D. Robertson, Rebecca Even, Stephen M. Ogle, Keith Paustian, and M. Francesca Cotrufo
Biogeosciences, 18, 3147–3171,Short summary
Soil organic matter (SOM) is essential for the health of soils, and the accumulation of SOM helps removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Here we present the result of the continued development of a mathematical model that simulates SOM and its measurable fractions. In this study, we simulated several grassland sites in the US, and the model generally captured the carbon and nitrogen amounts in SOM and their distribution between the measurable fractions throughout the entire soil profile.
Zhongkui Luo, Raphael A. Viscarra-Rossel, and Tian Qian
Biogeosciences, 18, 2063–2073,Short summary
Using the data from 141 584 whole-soil profiles across the globe, we disentangled the relative importance of biotic, climatic and edaphic variables in controlling global SOC stocks. The results suggested that soil properties and climate contributed similarly to the explained global variance of SOC in four sequential soil layers down to 2 m. However, the most important individual controls are consistently soil-related, challenging current climate-driven framework of SOC dynamics.
Debjani Sihi, Xiaofeng Xu, Mónica Salazar Ortiz, Christine S. O'Connell, Whendee L. Silver, Carla López-Lloreda, Julia M. Brenner, Ryan K. Quinn, Jana R. Phillips, Brent D. Newman, and Melanie A. Mayes
Biogeosciences, 18, 1769–1786,Short summary
Humid tropical soils are important sources and sinks of methane. We used model simulation to understand how different kinds of microbes and observed soil moisture and oxygen dynamics contribute to production and consumption of methane along a wet tropical hillslope during normal and drought conditions. Drought alters the diffusion of oxygen and microbial substrates into and out of soil microsites, resulting in enhanced methane release from the entire hillslope during drought recovery.
Mathieu Chassé, Suzanne Lutfalla, Lauric Cécillon, François Baudin, Samuel Abiven, Claire Chenu, and Pierre Barré
Biogeosciences, 18, 1703–1718,Short summary
Evolution of organic carbon content in soils could be a major driver of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations over the next century. Understanding factors controlling carbon persistence in soil is a challenge. Our study of unique long-term bare-fallow samples, depleted in labile organic carbon, helps improve the separation, evaluation and characterization of carbon pools with distinct residence time in soils and gives insight into the mechanisms explaining soil organic carbon persistence.
Melisa A. Diaz, Christopher B. Gardner, Susan A. Welch, W. Andrew Jackson, Byron J. Adams, Diana H. Wall, Ian D. Hogg, Noah Fierer, and W. Berry Lyons
Biogeosciences, 18, 1629–1644,Short summary
Water-soluble salt and nutrient concentrations of soils collected along the Shackleton Glacier, Antarctica, show distinct geochemical gradients related to latitude, longitude, elevation, soil moisture, and distance from coast and glacier. Machine learning algorithms were used to estimate geochemical gradients for the region given the relationship with geography. Geography and surface exposure age drive salt and nutrient abundances, influencing invertebrate habitat suitability and biogeography.
Marion Schrumpf, Klaus Kaiser, Allegra Mayer, Günter Hempel, and Susan Trumbore
Biogeosciences, 18, 1241–1257,Short summary
A large amount of organic carbon (OC) in soil is protected against decay by bonding to minerals. We studied the release of mineral-bonded OC by NaF–NaOH extraction and H2O2 oxidation. Unexpectedly, extraction and oxidation removed mineral-bonded OC at roughly constant portions and of similar age distributions, irrespective of mineral composition, land use, and soil depth. The results suggest uniform modes of interactions between OC and minerals across soils in quasi-steady state with inputs.
Lena Rohe, Bernd Apelt, Hans-Jörg Vogel, Reinhard Well, Gi-Mick Wu, and Steffen Schlüter
Biogeosciences, 18, 1185–1201,Short summary
Total denitrification, i.e. N2O and (N2O + N2) fluxes, of repacked soil cores were analysed for different combinations of soils and water contents. Prediction accuracy of (N2O + N2) fluxes was highest with combined proxies for oxygen demand (CO2 flux) and oxygen supply (anaerobic soil volume fraction). Knowledge of denitrification completeness (product ratio) improved N2O predictions. Substitutions with cheaper proxies (soil organic matter, empirical diffusivity) reduced prediction accuracy.
Severin-Luca Bellè, Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Frank Hagedorn, Cristina Santin, Marcus Schiedung, Ilja van Meerveld, and Samuel Abiven
Biogeosciences, 18, 1105–1126,Short summary
Controls of pyrogenic carbon (PyC) redistribution under rainfall are largely unknown. However, PyC mobility can be substantial after initial rain in post-fire landscapes. We conducted a controlled simulation experiment on plots where PyC was applied on the soil surface. We identified redistribution of PyC by runoff and splash and vertical movement in the soil depending on soil texture and PyC characteristics (material and size). PyC also induced changes in exports of native soil organic carbon.
Michael Rinderer, Jaane Krüger, Friederike Lang, Heike Puhlmann, and Markus Weiler
Biogeosciences, 18, 1009–1027,Short summary
We quantified the lateral and vertical subsurface flow (SSF) and P concentrations of three beech forest plots with contrasting soil properties during sprinkling experiments. Vertical SSF was 2 orders of magnitude larger than lateral SSF, and both consisted mainly of pre-event water. P concentrations in SSF were high during the first 1 to 2 h (nutrient flushing) but nearly constant thereafter. This suggests that P in the soil solution was replenished fast by mineral or organic sources.
Kirsty C. Paterson, Joanna M. Cloy, Robert M. Rees, Elizabeth M. Baggs, Hugh Martineau, Dario Fornara, Andrew J. Macdonald, and Sarah Buckingham
Biogeosciences, 18, 605–620,Short summary
Soil organic carbon sequestration across agroecosystems worldwide can contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The maximum carbon sequestration potential is frequently estimated using the linear regression equation developed by Hassink (1997). This work examines the suitability of this equation for use in grasslands across the United Kingdom. The results highlight the need to ensure the fit of equations to the soils being studied.
Hannah Gies, Frank Hagedorn, Maarten Lupker, Daniel Montluçon, Negar Haghipour, Tessa Sophia van der Voort, and Timothy Ian Eglinton
Biogeosciences, 18, 189–205,Short summary
Understanding controls on the persistence of organic matter in soils is essential to constrain its role in the carbon cycle. Emerging concepts suggest that the soil carbon pool is predominantly comprised of stabilized microbial residues. To test this hypothesis we isolated microbial membrane lipids from two Swiss soil profiles and measured their radiocarbon age. We find that the ages of these compounds are in the range of millenia and thus provide evidence for stabilized microbial mass in soils.
Frederick Büks, Gilles Kayser, Antonia Zieger, Friederike Lang, and Martin Kaupenjohann
Biogeosciences, 18, 159–167,Short summary
Ultrasonication/density fractionation is a common method used to extract particulate organic matter (POM) and, recently, microplastic (MP) from soil samples. In this study, ultrasonic treatment with mechanical stress increasing from 0 to 500 J mL−1 caused comminution and a reduced recovery rate of soil-derived POMs but no such effects with MP particles. In consequence, the extraction of MP from soils is not affected by particle size and recovery rate artifacts.
Hang Wen, Pamela L. Sullivan, Gwendolyn L. Macpherson, Sharon A. Billings, and Li Li
Biogeosciences, 18, 55–75,Short summary
Carbonate weathering is essential in regulating carbon cycle at the century timescale. Plant roots accelerate weathering by elevating soil CO2 via respiration. It however remains poorly understood how and how much rooting characteristics modify flow paths and weathering. This work indicates that deepening roots in woodlands can enhance carbonate weathering by promoting recharge and CO2–carbonate contact in the deep, carbonate-abundant subsurface.
Marcus Schiedung, Severin-Luca Bellè, Gabriel Sigmund, Karsten Kalbitz, and Samuel Abiven
Biogeosciences, 17, 6457–6474,Short summary
The mobility of pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) in soils is largely unknow, while it is a major and persistent component of the soil organic matter. With a soil column experiment, we identified that only a small proportion of PyOM can migrate through the soil, but its export is continuous. Aging and associated oxidation increase its mobility but also its retention in soils. Further, PyOM can alter the vertical mobility of native soil organic carbon during its downward migration.
Patrick Wordell-Dietrich, Anja Wotte, Janet Rethemeyer, Jörg Bachmann, Mirjam Helfrich, Kristina Kirfel, Christoph Leuschner, and Axel Don
Biogeosciences, 17, 6341–6356,Short summary
The release of CO2 from soils, known as soil respiration, plays a major role in the global carbon cycle. However, the contributions of different soil depths or the sources of soil CO2 have hardly been studied. We quantified the CO2 production for different soil layers (up to 1.5 m) in three soil profiles for 2 years. We found that 90 % of CO2 production occurs in the first 30 cm of the soil profile, and that the CO2 originated from young carbon sources, as revealed by radiocarbon measurements.
Antonio Rodríguez, Rosa Maria Canals, Josefina Plaixats, Elena Albanell, Haifa Debouk, Jordi Garcia-Pausas, Leticia San Emeterio, Àngela Ribas, Juan José Jimenez, and M.-Teresa Sebastià
Biogeosciences, 17, 6033–6050,Short summary
The novelty of our work is that it presents a series of potential interactions between drivers of soil organic carbon at broad scales in temperate mountain grasslands. The most relevant contribution of our work is that it illustrates the importance of grazing management for soil carbon stocks, indicating that interactions between grazing species and soil nitrogen and herbage quality may be promising paths in order to design further management policies for palliating climate change.
Curt A. McConnell, Jason P. Kaye, and Armen R. Kemanian
Biogeosciences, 17, 5309–5333,Short summary
Soil phosphorus (P) management is a critical challenge for agriculture worldwide; yet, simulation models of soil P processes lag those of other essential nutrients. In this review, we identify hindrances to measuring and modeling soil P pools and fluxes. We highlight the need to clarify biological and mineral interactions by defining P pools explicitly and using evolving techniques, such as tracing P in phosphates using oxygen isotopes.
Greta Formaglio, Edzo Veldkamp, Xiaohong Duan, Aiyen Tjoa, and Marife D. Corre
Biogeosciences, 17, 5243–5262,Short summary
The intensive management of large-scale oil palm plantations may result in high nutrient leaching losses which reduce soil fertility and potentially pollute water bodies. The reduction in management intensity with lower fertilization rates and with mechanical weeding instead of the use of herbicide results in lower nutrient leaching losses while maintaining high yield. Lower leaching results from lower nutrient inputs from fertilizer and from higher retention by enhanced cover vegetation.
Isabelle Basile-Doelsch, Jérôme Balesdent, and Sylvain Pellerin
Biogeosciences, 17, 5223–5242,Short summary
The 4 per 1000 initiative aims to restore carbon storage in soils to both mitigate climate change and contribute to food security. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research conducted a study to determine the carbon storage potential in French soils and associated costs. This paper is a part of that study. It reviews recent advances concerning the mechanisms that controls C stabilization in soils. Synthetic figures integrating new concepts should be of pedagogical interest.
Jolanda E. Reusser, René Verel, Daniel Zindel, Emmanuel Frossard, and Timothy I. McLaren
Biogeosciences, 17, 5079–5095,Short summary
Inositol phosphates (IPs) are a major pool of organic P in soil. However, information on their diversity and abundance in soil is limited. We isolated IPs from soil and characterised them using solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. For the first time, we provide direct spectroscopic evidence for the existence of a multitude of lower-order IPs in soil extracts previously not detected with NMR. Our findings will help provide new insight into the cycling of IPs in ecosystems.
Katharina Hildegard Elisabeth Meurer, Claire Chenu, Elsa Coucheney, Anke Marianne Herrmann, Thomas Keller, Thomas Kätterer, David Nimblad Svensson, and Nicholas Jarvis
Biogeosciences, 17, 5025–5042,Short summary
We present a simple model that describes, for the first time, the dynamic two-way interactions between soil organic matter and soil physical properties (porosity, pore size distribution, bulk density and layer thickness). The model was able to accurately reproduce the changes in soil organic carbon, soil bulk density and surface elevation observed during 63 years in a field trial, as well as soil water retention curves measured at the end of the experimental period.
Marion Nyberg and Mark J. Hovenden
Biogeosciences, 17, 4405–4420,Short summary
Experimental warming increased soil respiration (RS) by more than 25 % in a Tasmanian C-rich soil, but there was no impact on microbial respiration in laboratory experiments. Plant community composition had no effect on RS, suggesting the response is likely due to enhanced belowground plant respiration and C supply through rhizodeposition and root exudates. Results imply we need studies of both C inputs and losses to model net ecosystem C exchange of these crucial, C-dense systems effectively.
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