Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 5, pp 1559–1570 | Cite as

Concurrent changes in soil inorganic and organic carbon during the development of larch, Larix gmelinii, plantations and their effects on soil physicochemical properties

  • Wenjie WangEmail author
  • Dongxue Su
  • Ling Qiu
  • Hongyan Wang
  • Jing An
  • Guangyu Zheng
  • Yuangang Zu
Original Article


Soil inorganic carbon (SIC) and organic carbon (SOC) levels can change with forest development, however, concurrent changes in soil carbon balance and their functional differences in regulating soil properties are unclear. Here, SIC, SOC, and other physicochemical properties of soil (N, alkali-hydrolyzed N, effective Si, electrical conductivity, pH, and bulk density) in 49 chronosequence plots of larch plantation forests were evaluated, by analyzing the concurrent changes in SIC and SOC storage during growth of plantation and the functional difference of these levels in maintaining soil sustainability. These soils had characteristically high SOC (15.34 kg m−2) and low SIC storage (83.38 g m−2 on average). Further, 28 of 30 linear regressions between SIC and SOC storage and larch growth parameters (age, tree size, and biomass density) were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). However, significant changes were observed in ratios of SIC and SOC with these growth parameters (between 0–40 cm and 40–80 cm, respectively; p < 0.05). These results were more useful for determining the changes in SIC and SOC vertical distribution than changes in storage. Moreover, larch growth generally decreased SIC and increased SOC. Linear correlation and multiple-regression analysis showed that the SIC influences soil acidity, whereas SOC affects soil nitrogen. This clearly indicates that larch growth could result in divergent changes in SIC and SOC levels, particularly in their vertical distribution; further, changes in SIC and SOC may variably affect soil physicochemical properties.


Soil inorganic carbon (SIC) Soil organic carbon (SOC) Soil physicochemical properties Larix gmelinii plantation 



This study was supported financially by China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (2011CB403205), China’s National Foundation of Natural Sciences (31170575, 40873063), China’s postdoctoral foundation (201003406&20080430126) and basic research fund for national universities from Ministry of Education of China (DL12DA03).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenjie Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dongxue Su
    • 1
  • Ling Qiu
    • 1
  • Hongyan Wang
    • 1
  • Jing An
    • 1
  • Guangyu Zheng
    • 1
  • Yuangang Zu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Forest Plant EcologyNortheast Forestry UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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