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Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 774–781 | Cite as

Effects of land cover on soil organic carbon stock in a karst landscape with discontinuous soil distribution

  • Xiang-bi Chen
  • Hua Zheng
  • Wei Zhang
  • Xun-yang He
  • Lei Li
  • Jin-shui Wu
  • Dao-you Huang
  • Yi-rong SuEmail author
Article

Abstract

Land cover type is critical for soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in territorial ecosystems. However, impacts of land cover on SOC stocks in a karst landscape are not fully understood due to discontinuous soil distribution. In this study, considering soil distribution, SOC content and density were investigated along positive successional stages (cropland, plantation, grassland, scrubland, secondary forest, and primary forest) to determine the effects of land cover type on SOC stocks in a subtropical karst area. The proportion of continuous soil on the ground surface under different land cover types ranged between 0.0% and 79.8%. As land cover types changed across the positive successional stages, SOC content in both the 0–20 cm and 20–50 cm soil layers increased significantly. SOC density (SOCD) within 0–100 cm soil depth ranged from 1.45 to 8.72 kg m−2, and increased from secondary forest to primary forest, plantation, grassland, scrubland, and cropland, due to discontinuous soil distribution. Discontinuous soil distribution had a negative effect on SOC stocks, highlighting the necessity for accurate determination of soil distribution in karst areas. Generally, ecological restoration had positive impacts on SOC accumulation in karst areas, but this is a slow process. In the short term, the conversion of cropland to grassland was found to be the most efficient way for SOC sequestration.

Keywords

Soil organic carbon (SOC) Karst area Discontinuous soil distribution Land cover type Carbon sequestration potential 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiang-bi Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hua Zheng
    • 3
  • Wei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xun-yang He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jin-shui Wu
    • 1
  • Dao-you Huang
    • 1
  • Yi-rong Su
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical AgricultureChinese Academy of SciencesChangshaChina
  2. 2.Huanjiang Observation and Research Station for Karst Eco-systemsHuanjiangChina
  3. 3.Guangxi Institute of Subtropical CropsNanningChina

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