Advertisement

Long-term effects of management history on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils in Northwest China

  • F. Zhang
  • C. Li
  • Z. Wang
  • X. Li
Original Article
  • 221 Downloads

Abstract

Human activities and climate change have substantial effects on soil ecosystems. The historical variations in soil organic carbon (SOC) in Northwest China were investigated in this paper. Using an agro-ecosystems database, a process-based model, Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC), was used to support a regional SOC simulation. Over the 1980s and 1990s, the SOC storage (0–50 cm) reduced slightly from 1.25 PgC (pentagrams of carbon, 1 PgC = 1015 gC) and stabilized at 1.23 PgC. SOC significantly differed in Northwest China farmland both temporally and spatially. Climatic variability magnified the response of the spatially heterogeneous region to climate and greatly influenced the vegetation and soil. The SOC increase appeared in areas with a mild and humid climate in the east, including Shaanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and south Xinjiang. Management practices greatly affect SOC dynamics through straw C input, increased 46.31 % C budget and 20.52 % total SOC (TSOC) through 60 % crop residue incorporation. Reducing human disturbance to the surface soil through conservative tillage and improving soil fertility through reasonable nutrient input and water-use efficiency have important implications for C sequestration, emission reduction and soil productivity improvement in arid or semiarid agricultural farmland regions.

Keywords

Soil organic carbon Crop management DNDC 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Stanley Glidden for the MERRA data and Steve Frolking for the helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by NSFC grant 41301213, the key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZZD-EW-04) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central University.

References

  1. Adams RM, Rosenzweig C, Peart RM, Ritchie JT, McCarl BA, Glyer JD, Curry RB, Jones JW, Boote KJ Jr, Allen LH (1990) Global climate change and US agriculture. Nature 345:219–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alward RD, Detling JK, Milchunas DG (1999) Grassland vegetation changes and nocturnal global warming. Science 283:229–231. doi: 10.1126/science.283.5399.229 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cai ZC, Sawamoto T, Li C, Kang G, Boonjawat J, Moiser A, Wassmann R, Tsuruta H (2003) Field validation of the DNDC model for greenhouse gas emissions in East Asian cropping systems. Global Biogeochem Cy. doi: 10.1029/2003gb002046 Google Scholar
  4. China NSSO (1993–1997) Soils in China. Agricultural Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  5. Fan T, Stewart BA, Yong W, Junjie L, Guangye Z (2005) Long-term fertilization effects on grain yield, water-use efficiency and soil fertility in the dryland of Loess Plateau in China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 106:313–329. doi: 10.1016/j.agee.2004.09.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Houghton RA (1999) The annual net flux of carbon to the atmosphere from changes in land use 1850-1990. Tellus B 51:298–313. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0889.1999.00013.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huang Y, Sun W (2006) Changes in topsoil organic carbon of croplands in mainland China over the last two decades. Chin Sci Bull 51:1785–1803. doi: 10.1007/s11434-006-2056-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ishaq M, Ibrahim M, Lal R (2001) Tillage effect on nutrient uptake by wheat and cotton as influenced by fertilizer rate. Soil Tillage Res 62:41–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lal R (2003) Global potential of soil carbon sequestration to mitigate the greenhouse effect. Crit Rev Plant Sci 22:151–184. doi: 10.1080/713610854 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lal R (2004) Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science 304:1623–1627. doi: 10.1126/science.1097396 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lan Y (2005) Climate change and history of the rise and fall in Tang Dynasty. Collections of Essays on Chinese Historical Geography 16:4–15 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  12. Li C (2007) Quantifying soil organic carbon sequestration potential with modeling approach. In: Tang H, Ranst EV, Qiu J (eds) Simulation of soil organic carbon storage and changes in agricultural cropland in china and its impact on food security. China Meteorological Press, Beijing, pp 1–14Google Scholar
  13. Li CS, Frolking S, Frolking TA (1992) A model of nitrous-oxide evolution from soil driven by rainfall events. 1. Model structure and sensitivity. J Geophys Res-Atmos 97:9759–9776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Li C, Frolking S, Harriss R (1994) Modeling carbon biogeochemistry in agricultural soils. Global Biogeochem Cy 8:237–254. doi: 10.1029/94GB00767 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Li FM, Wang TC, Cao J (1998) Effect of organic matter on total amount and availability of nitrogen and phosphorus in loess soil of Northwest China. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 29:947–953CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liu C, Lu M, Cui J, Li B, Fang C (2014) Effects of straw carbon input on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 20:1366–1381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. National Bureau of Statistics of China (2003) China statistical yearbook. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  18. National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China (2005) Comprehensive statistical data and materials on 55 years of new China. China Statistics Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  19. National Development and Reform Commission (2004) The People’s Republic of China initial national communication on climate change. China Planning Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  20. Nhantumbo A, Katterer T, Ledin S, Du Preez CC (2009) Carbon loss from Brachystegia spiciformis leaf litter in the sandy soils of southern Mozambique. Nutr Cycl Agroecosys 83:13–26. doi: 10.1007/s10705-008-9194-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Olsson L, Ardö J (2002) Soil carbon sequestration in degraded semiarid agro-ecosystems-perils and potentials. AMBIO J Human Environ 31:471–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pauli F (1964) Soil fertility problem in arid and semi-arid lands. Nature 204:1286–1288. doi: 10.1038/2041286a0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peng SS, Piao SL, Wang T, Sun JY, Shen ZH (2009) Temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in different ecosystems in China. Soil Biol Biochem 41:1008–1014. doi: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2008.10.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Penuelas J, Filella I (2001) Phenology - Responses to a warming world. Science 294:793. doi: 10.1126/science.1066860 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Penuelas J, Rutishauser T, Filella I (2009) Phenology feedbacks on climate change. Science 324:887–888. doi: 10.1126/science.1173004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Piao SL, Fang JY, Ciais P, Peylin P, Huang Y, Sitch S, Wang T (2009) The carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems in China. Nature 458:U1009–U1082. doi: 10.1038/Nature07944 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Piccolo A (2012) Carbon sequestration in agricultural soils-a multidisciplinary approach to innovative methods. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Post WM, Kwon KC (2000) Soil carbon sequestration and land-use change: processes and potential. Glob Change Biol 6:317–327. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2000.00308.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rienecker MM, Suarez MJ, Gelaro R, Todling R, Bacmeister J, Liu E, Bosilovich MG, Schubert SD et al (2011) MERRA: NASA’s modern-era retrospective analysis for research and applications. J Clim 24:3624–3648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schlesinger WH (1984) Soil organic matter: a source of atmospheric CO2. In: Woodwell GM (ed) Terrestrial vegetation in the global carbon cycle, measurement by remote sensing. Wiley, Hoboken, pp 111–127Google Scholar
  31. Science IoS (1986) The soil atlas of China. Institute of Soil Science, Academia Sinica. Cartographic Publishing House, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  32. Sha W, Shao X, Huang M (2002) Climate warming and its impact on natural regional boundaries in China in the 1980s. Sci China Ser D-Earth Sci 45:1099–1113. doi: 10.1360/02yd9107 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shi P, Liao C (1988) Characteristics of geographic environment and land degradation in northwest of China. Arid Land Geogr 11:7–10 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  34. Six J, Elliott E, Paustian K (1999) Aggregate and soil organic matter dynamics under conventional and no-tillage systems. Soil Sci Soc Am J 63:1350–1358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Six J, Elliott E, Paustian K (2000) Soil macroaggregate turnover and microaggregate formation: a mechanism for C sequestration under no-tillage agriculture. Soil Biol Biochem 32:2099–2103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smith WN, Desjardins RL, Pattey E (2000) The net flux of carbon from agricultural soils in Canada 1970–2010. Glob Change Biol 6:557–568. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2000.00340.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Song L, Zhang C (2003) Changing features of precipitation over northwest China during the 20th century. J Glaciol Geocryol 25:143–148 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  38. The Integrated Scientific Research Team of Loess Plateau (1991) The land resources in the loess plateau region. China Sciences and Technology Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  39. Tiessen H, Cuevas E, Chacon P (1994) The role of soil organic matter in sustaining soil fertility. Nature 371:783–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wang S (1998) The abandonment of three major ancient ruins groups and environmental change in tarim basin. Quat Sci 1:71–79 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  41. Wang X, Xu X (2003) A discussion on the rice-millet blended zone in the Neolithic Age. Agric Hist China 22:3–9 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  42. Wang G, Cheng G, Xu Z (1999) The utilization of water resource and its influence on eco-environment in the northwest arid area of China. J Nat Resour 14:109–116 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  43. Xi C (1984) Physio-geographic regionalization of China: introduction. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  44. Xie ZB, Zhu J, Liu G, Cadisch G, Hasegawa T, Chen C, Sun H, Tang H, Zeng Q (2007) Soil organic carbon stocks in China and changes from 1980s to 2000s. Glob Change Biol 13:1989–2007. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01409.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xu S, Shi X, Zhao Y, Yu D, Wang S, Tan M, Sun W, Li C (2012) Spatially explicit simulation of soil organic carbon dynamics in China’s paddy soils. Catena 92:113–121. doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2011.12.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang D (2005) Historical records of environmental changes and agricultural development in northwest China. Adv Clim Change Res 2:58–64 (in Chinese) Google Scholar
  47. Zhang F, Li C, Wang Z, Wu H (2006) Modeling impacts of management alternatives on soil carbon storage of farmland in Northwest China. Biogeosciences 3:451–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang F, Li C, Wang Z, Glidden S, Grogan DS, Li X, Cheng Y, Frolking S (2015) Modeling impacts of management on farmland soil carbon dynamics along a climate gradient in Northwest China during 1981–2000. Ecological Modeling 312:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and Technology, School of Human Settlements and Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and SpaceUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, IEECASXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations