Carbon and nitrogen stocks in the soils of Central and Eastern Europe

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Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen stocks are presented for Central and Eastern Europe. The study uses the soil geographic and attribute data held in a 1:2 500 000 scale Soil and Terrain (SOTER) database, covering Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Russian Federation (west of the Urals), Slovakia, and Ukraine. Means and coefficients of variation for soil organic carbon and total nitrogen are presented for each major FAO soil grouping. The mean content of organic carbon, to a depth of 1 m, ranges from 3.9 kg C m¿2 for coarse textured Arenosols to 72.9 kg C m¿2 for poorly drained Histosols. Mean carbon content for the mineral soils, excluding Arenosols, is 15.8 kg C m¿2. The top 1 m of soil holds 110 Pg C (Pg=1015 g), which corresponds to about 7% of the global stock of soil organic carbon. About 44% of this carbon pool is held in the top 0.3 m of the soil, the layer that is most prone to be changed by changes in soil use and management. About 166 million ha in Central and Eastern Europe have been degraded by compaction, erosion of topsoil, fertility decline and crusting. The achievable level of carbon sequestration for these soils, upon adoption of ¿best` management practices or restorative measures, is estimated
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-329
JournalSoil Use and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • soil chemistry
  • nitrates
  • databases
  • central europe
  • sequestration
  • land
  • models


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