Effect of different vegetation cover on the vertical distribution of soil organic and inorganic carbon in the Zhifanggou Watershed on the loess plateau

Wei Zhao, Rui Zhang, Chuanqin Huang, Baiqun Wang, Hua Cao, Luuk K. Koopal, Wenfeng Tan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the carbon cycle of the terrestrial ecosystem and estimating the potential of carbon sequestration in soils requires adequate information on the relationship between soil organic carbon (SOC) and inorganic carbon (SIC). The vertical distribution and transformation of SOC and SIC under different types of vegetation and slope aspects in the Zhifanggou Watershed on the Loess Plateau were investigated. The distribution of SOC with soil depth in the 0-200cm soil can be described by the exponential model. The theoretical initial accumulation of organic carbon at the litter/soil contact increased with the decrease in the C/N ratio of the litter from the vegetation and followed the order shrub>forest>grass. Compared to the shady slope, the low theoretical initial accumulation of organic carbon at the litter/soil contact resulted from the relatively small quantity of SOC formation by the decomposition of litter on the sunny slope. The variation tendency of SIC in the 0-50cm is opposite to that of SOC. The transfer of the soil carbonate slowed down with the decrease in the soil water content (SWC), which was reflected by the significant negative correlation between SIC content and SWC (r=-0.400, p3 can be formed by precipitating with more Ca released from the decomposed shrub litter and (2) the dissolution and precipitation of the pedogenic carbonate is comparatively slow due to the relatively low SWC under shrub cover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-198
JournalCatena
Volume139
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Chinese Loess Plateau
  • Soil inorganic carbon
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Sun light exposure
  • Vegetation
  • Vertical distribution

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