Interaction effects of climate and land use/land cover change on soil organic carbon sequestration

The Science of the Total Environment
Xiong XiongNicolas B Comerford


Historically, Florida soils stored the largest amount of soil organic carbon (SOC) among the conterminous U.S. states (2.26 Pg). This region experienced rapid land use/land cover (LULC) shifts and climate change in the past decades. The effects of these changes on SOC sequestration are unknown. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate the change in SOC stocks in Florida to determine if soils have acted as a net sink or net source for carbon (C) over the past four decades and 2) identify the concomitant effects of LULC, LULC change, and climate on the SOC change. A total of 1080 sites were sampled in the topsoil (0-20 cm) between 2008 and 2009 representing the current SOC stocks, 194 of which were selected to collocate with historical sites (n = 1251) from the Florida Soil Characterization Database (1965-1996) for direct comparison. Results show that SOC stocks significantly differed among LULC classes--sugarcane and wetland contained the highest SOC, followed by improved pasture, urban, mesic upland forest, rangeland, and pineland while crop, citrus and xeric upland forest remained the lowest. The surface 20 cm soils acted as a net sink for C with the median SOC significantly increasing from 2.69 to 3.40 kg m(-2) ove...Continue Reading


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