Spatial Variations of Organic and Inorganic Carbon Stocks in Some Forest and Rangeland Soils of Northern Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor of Horticulture Crop Research Department, Kordestan agricultural and natural resources research and education center, AREEO, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Professor of Soil Science Department,University of Tehran, Iran


Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in different land uses could be effective in interpreting and simulating the behavior of ecosystems in encountering the climate and environmental changes. The hilly lands of the study area are unique ecosystem with particular importance due to the effect of slope in creating microclimates with different vegetation. The spatial variability of soil organic and inorganic carbon contents and storages were studied at various depths. The effects of land use, parent material, topographical properties and some of soil characteristics on soil organic and inorganic carbon contents and storages were investigated in 56 soil pedons. In average, the highest (SOC=196.6 Mg/ha, SIC=88.2 Mg/ha) and lowest (SOC=59.9 Mg/ha, SIC=11.3 Mg/ha) storage contents of soil organic and inorganic carbon were found in Mollisols and Entisols, accordingly. The highest average total carbon storage also was found in Mollisols (284.9 Mg/ha) while the lowest was in Entisols (71.2 Mg/ha). Increasing soil inorganic carbon with increasing soil organic carbon indicates that inorganic carbon originates from soil organic carbon. In forestland, most amounts of soil organic carbon stocks are located in surface horizons, in fresh and semi-decomposed forms and in combination with silt fractions. Therefore, forest soils are more fragile in response to the changes in management rather than rangelands that contain most of their organic carbon stocks in subsurface horizons and in combination with clay fractions.


Main Subjects

Arrouays, D. Deslais, W. and Badeau, V. (2001). The carbon content of topsoil and its geographical distribution in France. Soil Use and Management, 17, 7-11.
Bagherifam, S. Karimi, A. R. Lakzian, A. and Izanloo, E. (2013). Effects of land use management on soil organic carbon, particle size distribution and aggregate stability along hillslope in semi-arid areas of northern Khorasan. Journal of Water and Soil Conservation, 20(4), 51-73. (In Farsi)
Brejda, J. J. Moorman, T. B. Karlen, D. L. and Dao, T. H. (2000). Identification of regional soil quality factors and indicators: I. central and southern high plains. Soil Science Society of American Journal, 64, 2115-2124.
Burt, R. (2004). Soil survey laboratory methods manual. NRCS, USDA, Soil survey investigation report, No: 42, Version 4.0.
Cambardella, C. A. Moorman, T. B. Novak, J.M. Parkin, T. B. Karlen, D.L. Turco, R. F. and Konopka, A. E. (1994). Field-scale variability of soils properties in central Iowa soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal 58, 1501–1511.
Cotrufo, M. F. Conant, R. T. and Paustian, K. (2011). Soil organic matter dynamics: land use, management and global change. Plant and Soil, 38: 1-3.
Crow, S. E. Swantson, C. and Lajtha, K. (2007). Density fraction of forest soils: Methodological question and interpretation of incubation result and turn over time in an ecosystem context. Biogeochemistry, 85: 69-90.
Cui, X. Wang, Y. Niu, H. Wu, J. Wang, S. Schung, E. Rogasik, J. Fleckenstein, J. and Tang, Y. (2005). Effect of long-term grazing on soil organic carbon content in semiarid steppes in Inner Mongolia. Ecological Research, 20, 519-527.
de Blécourt, M. Brumme, R. Xu, J. Corre, M. D. and Veldkamp, E. (2013). Soil carbon stocks decrease following conversion of secondary forests to rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation. Edited by: Bond-Lamberty, B. PloS one, 8, e69357,
de Blécourt, M. Corre, M. D. Paudel, E. Harrison, R. D. Brumme, R. and Veldkamp, E. (2017). Spatial variability in soil organic carbon in a tropical montane landscape: associations between soil organic carbon and land use, soil properties, vegetation, and topography vary across plot to landscape scales. SOIL, 3: 123-137.
Gee, G. W. and Bauder, J. W. (1986). Particle size analysis. In: Klute, A. (Ed.) Methods of soil analysis, Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical methods, secound ed. Agronomy, 9: 383-411.
Guo, Y. Wang, X. Li, X. Wang, J. Xu, M. and Li, D. (2016). Dynamics of soil organic and inorganic carbon in the cropland of upper Yellow River Delta, China. Sci Rep, 6: 36105.
Habashi, H. Hosseini, M. Mohammadi, J. and Rahmani, R. (2007). Geostatistic application in soil science study of forest regions. Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources Science, 14(1): 1-10. (In Farsi)
Hedde, M. Aubert, M. Decaens, T. and Bureau, F. (2008). Dynamics of soil carbon in a beechwood chronosequence forest. Forest Ecology and Management, 225: 193-202.
Henderson, D. C. Ellert, B. H. and Naeth, M. A. (2004). Grazing and soil carbon along a gradient of Albetra rangelands. Journal of Range Management, 57, 402-410.
Hirmas, D. R. Amrhein, C. and Graham, R. C. (2010). Spatial and process-based modeling of soil inorganic carbon storage in an arid piedmont. Geoderma, 154: 486-494.
Jimenez, J. J. Lal, R. Russo, R. O. and Leblanc, H. A. (2008). The soil organic carbon in particle-size separates under different regrowth forest stands of north eastern Costa Rica. Ecological Engineering, 34: 300-310.
Jobbagy, E. G. and Jackson, R. B. (2000). The vertical distribution of soil organic carbon and its relation to climate and vegetation. Ecological applications, 10(2): 423-436.
Kaiser, K. and Kalbitz, K. (2012). Cycling downwards dissolved organic matter in soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 52: 29-32.
Kunze, G. W. and Dixon, J. B. (1986). Method of soil analysis, Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods. American Society of agronomy.
Law, M. C. Balasundram, S. K. Husni, M. H. A. Ahmed, O. H. and Harun, M. H. (2009). Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in oil palm. International Journal of Soil Science, 1816-4978.
Leverman, A. M. Zoomer, H. R. and Verhoef, H. A. (2001).The effect of oxygen, pH and organic carbon on soil-layer specific denitrifying capacity in acid coniferous forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 33(4-5):683-687
Li, G. T. Zhang, C. L. and Zhang, H. J. (2010). Soil inorganic carbon pool changed in long-term fertilization experiments in north China plain. World Cong Soil Sci Soil Solut Changing World, 19: 220-223.
Liu, D. Wang, Z. Song, K. Li, X. Li, J. Li, F. and Duan, H. (2006). Spatial distribution of soil organic carbon and analysis of related factors in croplands of tha black soil region, Northeast China. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 113: 73-81.
Lorenz, K. Lal, R. and Shipitalo, M. J. (2008). Chemical stabilization of organic carbon pools in particle size fractions in no-till and meadow soils. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 44, 1043-1051.
Mekuria, W. Veldkamp, E. Haile, M. Gebrehiwot, K. Muys, B. and Nyssen, J. (2009). Effectiveness of exclosures to control soil erosion and local community perception on soil erosion in Tigray, Ethiopia. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 4, 365-377.
Neill, C. Fry, B. Melillo, J. M. Steudler, P. A. Moraes, J. F. L. and Cerri, C. C. (1996). Forest-and pasture- derived carbon contributions to carbon stocks and microbial respiration of tropical pasture soils. Oecologia, 107, 113-119.
Powers, J. S. (2006). Spatial variation of soil organic carbon concentrations and stable isotopic composition in 1-ha plots of forest and pasture in Costa Rica: implications for the natural abundance technique. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 42, 580-584.
Raheb, A. Heidari, A. and Mahmoodi Sh. (2017). Organic and inorganic carbon storage in soils along an arid to dry sub-humid climosequence in northwest of Iran. Catena, 153, 66-74.
Rajan, K. (2010). Soil organic carbon-the most reliable indicator for monitoring land degradation by soil erosion. Current Science, 99(6), 823-827.
Rodriguez-Loinaz, G. Onaindia, M. Amezaga, I. Mijangos, I. and Garbisu, C. (2008). Relationship between vegetation diversity and soil functional diversity in native mixed-oak forest soil. Biology & Biochemistry, 40, 49-60.
Schawanghart, W. and Jarmer, T. (2001). Linking spatial patterns of soil organic carbon to topography- A case study from south-eastern Spain. Geomorphology, 126, 252-263.
Schimel, D. Stillwell, M. A. and Woodmansee, R. G. (1985). Biogeochemistry of C, N and P in a soil catena of short grass steppe. Ecology, 66: 276-282.
Shi, H. J. Wang, X. J. Zhao, Y. J. Xu, M. G. Li, D. W. and Guo, Y. (2017). Relatiionship between soil inorganic carbon and organic carbon in the wheat-maize cropland of the North China Plain. Plant and Soil, 418, 423-436.
Shi, Y. Baumann, F. Ma, Y. Song, C. Kuhn, P. Scholten, T. and He, J. S. (2012). Organic and inorganic carbon in the topsoil of the Mongolian and Tibetan grasslands: pattern, control and implications. Biogeosciences, 9, 2287-2299.
Six, J. Conant, R. T. and Paul, E. A. (2002). Stabilization mechanism of soil organic matter: implications for C-saturation of soils. Plant and Soil, 241, 155-176.
Soil Survey Staff, (2014). Keys to Soil Taxonomy (12nd ed.). United states Department of Agriculture. NRCS.
Sparks, D. L. (1996). Method of Soil Analysis. Part 3. Chemical Methods. American Society of Agronomy.
Spielvogel, S. Prietzel, J. Auerswald, K, Kogel-Knabner, I. (2009). Site specific spatial patterns of soil organic carbon stocks in different landscape units of a high-elevation forest including a site with forest dieback. Geoderma, 152, 218-230.
USDA-NRCS, (2012a). Field book for Describing and Sampling Soils. Version 3.0, National Soil Survey Center.
USDA-NRCS, (2012b). JNSM: java Newhall Simulation Model. Version 1.6.0. user guide-part 1. National Soil Survey Center.
Walkley, A. Black, I. A. (1934). An examination of Degtiareff method for determining soil organic matter and a proposed modification of the chromic acid in soil analysis. 1. Experimental. Soil Science Society of American Journal, 79, 459-465.
Wang, Y. Li, Y. Ye, X. and Wang, X. (2010) a. Profile storage of organic/inorganic carbon in soil: From forest to desert. Science of the Total Environment, 408(8): 1925-31.
Wang, D. Shi, X. Wang, H. Weindorf, D. C. Yu, D. Sun, W. Ren, H. and Zhao, Y. (2010) b. Scale effect of climate and soil texture on soil organic carbon in the uplands of Northeast China. Pedosphere, 408, 1925-193.
Wang, X. J. Wang, J. P. Xu, M. G. Zhang, W. J. Fan, T. L. and Zhang, J. (2015). Carbon accumulation in arid croplands of northwest China: pedogenic carbonate exceeding organic carbon. Scientific Reports, 5:11439.
Wang, Y. Zhang, X. C. Zhang, J. L. and Li, S. J. (2009). Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in a watershed on the loess plateau. Pedosphere, 19, 486-495.
Wang, Z. P. Han, X. G. Chang, S. X. Wang, B. Yu, Q. Hou, L. Y. and Li, L. H. (2013). Soil organic and inorganic carbon contents under various land use across a transect of continental steppes in Inner Mongolia. Catena, 109, 110-117.
Wasak, K. Drewnik, M. (2015). Land use effects on soil organic carbon sequestration in calcareous Leptosols in former pastureland – a case study from the Tatra Mountains (Poland). Soil Earth, 6, 1103-1115.
Zhang, N. He, X. D. Gao, Y. B. Li, Y. H. Wang, H. T. Ma, D. Zhang, R. and Yang, S. (2010). Pedogenic carbonate and soil dehydrogenase activity in response to soil organic matter in Artemisia ordosica community. Pedosphere, 20: 220-235.
Zhao, X. Zhang, R. Huang C. Q. Wang, B. Q. Cao, H. Koopal, L. K. and Tan, W. F. (2016a). Effect of different vegetation cover on the vertical distribution of soil organic and inorganic carbon in the Zhifanggou Watershed on the loess plateau. Catena, 139, 191-198.