Contribution of a sewage sludge application to the short-term carbon sequestration across a wide range of agricultural soils
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- Soriano-Disla, J.M., Navarro-Pedreño, J. & Gómez, I. Environ Earth Sci (2010) 61: 1613. doi:10.1007/s12665-010-0474-x
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The atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) have increased dramatically since the industrial revolution. The atmospheric enrichment with CO2 and other GHGs has resulted in multiple negative consequences: such as the increase in the average temperature and the rise of the sea level. Hence, there is a growing interest in developing feasible methods to reduce the atmospheric levels of these gases. One of these strategies is to enhance C sequestration through the increase of soil organic carbon (SOC) pool by the amendment of agricultural soils with sewage sludge. However, there is considerable uncertainty about the effects (positive or negative) of sewage sludge applications on the SOC pool. Thus, a simple approach developed under laboratory conditions is presented to discern the effect of a single sewage sludge application of 50 t ha−1 on the short-term SOC pool in 60 contrasting agricultural soils. The role of soil factors in the C sequestration of the recently added carbon was also studied. The application of sewage sludge supposed a mean increase of 1.7 ± 1.6 g SOC kg−1, with peak increases of up to 3.8 g SOC kg−1 and decreases of up to 4.6 g SOC kg−1. The initial SOC contents conditioned the C sequestration after sewage sludge application, and no other soil property was related.