Accumulation of Carbon and Nitrogen in Residential Soils with Different Land-Use Histories
- 1.3k Downloads
Urban areas are growing in size and importance; however, we are only beginning to understand how the process of urbanization influences ecosystem dynamics. In particular, there have been few assessments of how the land-use history and age of residential soils influence carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools and fluxes, especially at depth. In this study, we used 1-m soil cores to evaluate soil profile characteristics and C and N pools in 32 residential home lawns that differed by previous land use and age, but had similar soil types. These were compared to soils from eight forested reference sites. Residential soils had significantly higher C and N densities than nearby forested soils of similar types (6.95 vs. 5.44 kg C/m2 and 552 vs. 403 g N/m2, P < 0.05). Results from our chronosequence suggest that soils at residential sites that were previously in agriculture have the potential to accumulate C (0.082 kg C/m2/y) and N (8.3 g N/m2/y) rapidly after residential development. Rates of N accumulation at these sites were similar in magnitude to estimated fertilizer N inputs, confirming a high capacity for N retention. Residential sites that were forested prior to development had higher C and N densities than present-day forests, but our chronosequence did not reveal a significant pattern of increasing C and N density over time in previously forested sites. These data suggest that soils in residential areas on former agricultural land have a significant capacity to sequester C and N. Given the large area of these soils, they are undoubtedly significant in regional C and N balances.
Key wordscarbon nitrogen soil residential urban lawn turfgrass forest development land use
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation Ecosystem Studies and LTER programs (Grant numbers DEB-0444919 and DEB-9714835). The authors thank Dan Dillon, David Lewis, Lisa Martel, Giovanna McClenachan, Ellen Schmidt, Robin Schmidt, Kirsten Schwarz and Ian Yesilonis for help with field sampling, laboratory analysis, advice and project planning. The authors extend a special thanks to the homeowners who provided access to their properties.
- Carrow RN. 1989. Managing turf for maximum root growth. Golf Course Management (July).Google Scholar
- Craul PJ, Klein CJ. 1980. Characterization of streetside soils of Syracuse, New York. METRIA 3:88–101.Google Scholar
- Easton ZM, Petrovic AM. 2008. Determining nitrogen loading rates based on land use in an urban watershed. In: Nett MT, Carroll MJ, Horgan BP, Petrovic AM, Eds. The fate of nutrients and pesticides in the urban environment. ACS Symposium Series, Vol. 997. Washington (DC): American Chemical Society. p 19–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fulton W, Pendall R, Nguyen M, Harrison A. 2001. Who sprawls the most? How growth patterns differ across the United States. Washington (DC): The Brookings Institution. Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.Google Scholar
- Galbraith JM, Bryant RB, Russell-Anelli JM. 1999. Major kinds of humanly altered soils. In: Kimble JM, Ahrens RJ, Bryant RB, Eds. Classification, correlation, and management of anthropogenic soils: Proceedings. 1998. Sept 21–Oct 2; Nevada and California: USDA-NRCS. Lincoln (NE): National Soil Survey Center. p 115–19.Google Scholar
- Gebhart DL, Johnson HB, Mayeux HA, Polley HW. 1994. The CRP increases soil organic carbon. J Soil Water Conserv 49:488–92.Google Scholar
- Gee GW, Bauder JW. 1986. Particle size analysis. In: Klute A, Ed. Methods of soil analysis, part 1. Physical and mineralogical methods. 2nd edn. Madison (WI): American Society of Agronomy. p 383–411.Google Scholar
- Goetz SJ, Jantz CA, Prince SD, Smith AJ, Wright R, Varlyguin D. 2004. Integrated analysis of ecosystem interactions with land use change: the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In: DeFries RS, Asner GP, Houghton RA, Eds. Ecosystems and land use change geophysical monograph series. Washington (DC): American Geophysical Union. p 263–75.Google Scholar
- Groffman PM, Law NL, Belt KT, Band LE, Fisher GT. 2004. Nitrogen fluxes and retention in urban watershed ecosystems. Ecosystems 7:393–403.Google Scholar
- Hall SJ, Huber D, Grimm NB. 2008. Soil N2O and NO emissions from an arid, urban ecosystem. J Geophys Res Biogeosci 113. doi: 10.1029/0102007jg0000523.
- Law NL, Band LE, Grove JM. 2004. Nitrogen input from residential lawn care practices in suburban watersheds in Baltimore County, MD. J Environ Manag 47(5):737–55.Google Scholar
- Maryland, Department of Planning. 2007. Assessment and taxation database. In: Maryland property view CD-ROM. Annapolis (MD).Google Scholar
- National Climactic Data Center, United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2009. Online Climate Data Directory. http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/climatedata.html.
- NRCS. 1976. Soil survey of Baltimore County, Maryland. Washington (DC): Natural Resource Conservation Service.Google Scholar
- NRCS. 1998. Soil survey of City of Baltimore, Maryland. Washington (DC): Natural Resource Conservation Service.Google Scholar
- Pickett STA, Cadenasso ML, Grove JM, Groffman PM, Band LE, Boone CG, Burch WR, Grimmond CSB, Hom J, Jenkins JC, Law NL, Nilon CH, Pouyat RV, Szlavecz K, Warren PS, Wilson MA. 2008. Beyond urban legends: an emerging framework of urban ecology, as illustrated by the Baltimore ecosystem study. Bioscience 58:139–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pouyat RV, Szlavecz K, Yesilonis ID, Groffman PM, Schwarz K. 2010. Chemical, physical and biological characteristics of urban soils. In: Aitkenhead-Peterson J, Volder A, Eds. Urban ecosystem ecology. Agronomy Mongraph 55. Madison (WI): American Society of Agronomy.Google Scholar
- SAS Institute. 2009. JMP, Version 8. SAS Institute Inc., Cary (NC), 1989–2009.Google Scholar
- Townsend-Small A, Czimczik CI. 2010. Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions in urban turf. Geophys Res Lett 37: L0270710.0271029/0272009gl0041675.Google Scholar
- United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. 2008. World urbanization prospects: The 2007 Revision. United Nations (NY). http://www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm.
- Wehling MA. 2001. Land use/land cover change from 1915 to 1999 in the Gwynns Falls Watershed, Baltimore County, Maryland: creation of a suburban social ecology. [Dissertation]. Athens (OH): Department of Geography, Ohio University.Google Scholar
- Wu L. 1985. Matching turfgrass irrigation to turfgrass root depth. Calif Turfgrass Cult 35(1–4):1–2.Google Scholar