, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 51-58

Carbon balance in the soils of abandoned lands in Moscow region

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A quantitative assessment of the carbon balance was performed in gray forest soils of the former agricultural lands abandoned in different time periods in the southern part of Moscow oblast. It was based on the field measurements of the total and heterotrophic soil respiration and the productivity of biocenoses. Geobotanical investigations demonstrated that the transformation of the species composition of herbs from weeds to predominantly meadow plants occurred in five–ten years after the soil was no more used for farming. The amount of carbon assimilated in the NPP changed from 97 g C/m2 year in the recently abandoned field to 1103 g C/m2 year in the 10-year-old fallow, and the total annual loss of carbon from the soil in the form of CO2 varied from 347 to 845 g C/m2 year. In five years, the former arable lands were transformed into meadow ecosystems that functioned as a stable sink of carbon in the phytomass and the soil organic matter.

Original Russian Text © I.N. Kurganova, A.M. Yermolaev, V.O. Lopes de Gerenyu, A.A. Larionova, Ya. Kuzyakov, T. Keller, S. Lange, 2007, published in Pochvovedenie, 2007, No. 1, pp. 60–68.