Biogeochemistry

, Volume 101, Issue 1–3, pp 197–209

Soil carbon and litter development along a reconstructed biodiverse forest chronosequence of South-Western Australia

  • S. J. George
  • R. N. Kelly
  • P. F. Greenwood
  • M. Tibbett
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10533-010-9519-1

Cite this article as:
George, S.J., Kelly, R.N., Greenwood, P.F. et al. Biogeochemistry (2010) 101: 197. doi:10.1007/s10533-010-9519-1

Abstract

Soil organic matter (SOM) increases with time as landscape is restored. Studying SOM development along restored forest chronosequences would be useful in clarifying some of the uncertainties in quantifying C turnover rates with respect to forest clearance and ensuing restoration. The development of soil organic matter in the mineral soils was studied at four depths in a 16-year-old restored jarrah forest chronosequence. The size-separated SOM fractionation along with δ13C isotopic shift was utilised to resolve the soil C temporal and spatial changes with developing vegetation. The restored forest chronosequence revealed several important insights into how soil C is developing with age. Litter accumulation outpaced the native forest levels in 12 years after restoration. The surface soils, in general, showed increase in total C with age, but this trend was not clearly observed at lower depths. C accumulation was observed with increasing restoration age in all three SOM size-fractions in the surface 0–2 cm depth. These biodiverse forests show a trend towards accumulating C in recalcitrant stable forms, but only in the surface 0–2 cm mineral soil. A significant reverse trend was observed for the moderately labile SOM fraction for lower depths with increasing restoration age. Correlating the soil δ13C with total C concentration revealed the re-establishment of the isotopically depleted labile to enriched refractory C continuum with soil depth for the older restored sites. This implied that from a pedogenic perspective, the restored soils are developing towards the original native soil carbon profile.

Keywords

Jarrah forest Stable isotope Nitrogen Bauxite mining Rehabilitation Fractionation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. George
    • 1
  • R. N. Kelly
    • 1
  • P. F. Greenwood
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Tibbett
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Land Rehabilitation, School of Earth and EnvironmentThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.John De Laeter Mass Spectrometry and WA Biogeochemitry Centres (M090)The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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