Soil carbon accumulation with increasing temperature under both managed and natural vegetation restoration in calcareous soils

Peilei Hu, Wei Zhang, Hongsong Chen, Dejun Li, Yuan Zhao, Jie Zhao, Jun Xiao, Fangji Wu, Xunyang He, Yiqi Luo, Kelin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vegetation restoration has been proposed as an effective strategy for increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration. However, the responses of SOC to managed and natural vegetation restoration strategies at a large scale are poorly understood due to the varying SOC components and changing climatic conditions. Here, we measured bulk SOC, particulate organic carbon (POC), and mineral-associated organic carbon (MOC) after 15 years of vegetation restoration along an elevation gradient with a corresponding temperature gradient in the calcareous soils of karst region, Southwest China. We compared managed plantation forest and naturally recovered shrubland vegetation restoration strategies, using cropland and mature forest as references. Overall, we found that the SOC and POC densities in both plantation forest and shrubland were significantly higher than in the cropland but lower than in the mature forest. There were no significant differences in the SOC pool between the plantation forest and shrubland. Furthermore, the relative changes in the SOC and POC densities increased with increasing mean annual temperature in the plantation forest and shrubland. Our results showed that both vegetation restoration strategies, characterized by higher soil microbial abundance and exchangeable Ca concentration, were beneficial to POC but not MOC accumulation, and sufficiently compensated SOC decomposition at lower elevation with higher MAT. Our results highlight the potential of both vegetation restoration strategies for promoting SOC accumulation in warmer karst regions and emphasize the necessity to understand soil carbon stabilization mechanisms in calcareous soils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number145298
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume767
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Keywords

  • Calcium
  • Climatic gradient
  • Karst ecosystem
  • Soil microbial community
  • Soil organic carbon fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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