Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 866–872 | Cite as

Assessment of soil organic carbon stock in the upper Yangtze River basin

  • Xiao-guo Wang
  • Bo ZhuEmail author
  • Ke-ke Hua
  • Yong Luo
  • Jian Zhang
  • An-bang Zhang


Soil organic carbon is of great importance to terrestrial ecosystems. Studies on the amount and spatial distribution of soil organic carbon stock in various types of soil can help to better understand the role of soil in the global carbon cycle and provide a scientific basis for the assessment of the magnitude of carbon stored in a given area. Here we present estimates of soil organic carbon stock in soils in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River based on soil types as defined by Chinese Soil Taxonomy and recently compiled into a digital soil database. The results showed that the total soil organic carbon stock of the upper Yangtze River to a depth of 100 cm was 1.452×1013 kg. The highest soil organic carbon stock was found in felty soils (2.419×1012 kg), followed by dark brown soils (1.269×1012 kg), and dark felty soils (1.139×1012 kg). Chernozems and irrigation silting soils showed the lowest soil organic carbon stock, mainly due to the small total area of such soils. The soil organic carbon density of these major soil types ranged from 5.6 to 26.1 kg m−2. The average soil organic carbon density of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River was 16.4 kg m−2, which was higher than that of the national average. Soil organic carbon density indicated a distinct decreasing trend from west to east, which corresponds to the pattern of increasing temperature from cold to subtropical.


Soil Organic carbon Carbon stock Yangtze River 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiao-guo Wang
    • 1
  • Bo Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ke-ke Hua
    • 1
  • Yong Luo
    • 1
  • Jian Zhang
    • 1
  • An-bang Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological RegulationChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.Henan Institute of Science and TechnologyXinxiangChina

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