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On Soil Carbon Monitoring Networks

Part of the Progress in Soil Science book series (PROSOIL)

Abstract

The design of a Soil Monitoring Network (SMN) poses numerous scientific challenges, especially for the assessment of national or continental areas. The task is particularly challenging because soil carbon content and stocks are driven by controlling factors of disparate origins and scales. Various approaches to the establishment of SMNs are reviewed here. Frameworks for soil monitoring exist in numerous countries, especially in Europe. Although some countries work using standard monitoring methodologies and coverage, there is considerable variation in approaches to the monitoring of soil carbon even within a country. In addition to achieving harmonization, there are generic issues which must be addressed when SMNs are established and operated: the SMN should be effective for different soils, and it must enable the detection of change in soil carbon at relevant spatial and temporal scales with adequate precision and statistical power. We present examples which address these issues and summarize previous reviews on this topic. It is essential to establish an adequate sampling protocol which can be applied at each sampling location and time. The design must address the questions that the user of data has and provide information with accuracy and precision at the spatial and temporal scales that match the users’ needs. Furthermore, the design must match the methods of analysis so that statistical assumptions can be justified. At the global scale, the question of harmonizing sampling and analytical methods is difficult. Here, we propose the establishment of benchmark sites devoted to harmonization and inter-calibration. We present a case study from France which addresses scientific issues such as how many calibration sites are necessary and how they should be selected.

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Correspondence to Dominique Arrouays .

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Arrouays, D. et al. (2014). On Soil Carbon Monitoring Networks. In: Hartemink, A., McSweeney, K. (eds) Soil Carbon. Progress in Soil Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-04084-4_6

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