Pedosphere 15(5): 601--610, 2005
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2005 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Spatial-temporal changes of soil organic carbon during vegetation recovery at Ziwuling, China
LI Yu-Yuan1,2, SHAO Ming-An1,2, ZHENG Ji-Yong2 and ZHANG Xing-Chang2
1 Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101 (China). E-mail:
2 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100 (China)
      To probe the processes and mechanisms of soil organic carbon (SOC) changes during forest recovery, a 150-year chronosequence study on SOC was conducted for various vegetation succession stages at the Ziwuling area, in the central part of the Loess Plateau, China. Results showed that during the 150 years of local vegetation rehabilitation SOC increased significantly (P < 0.05) over time in the initial period of 55-59 years, but slightly decreased afterwards. Average SOC densities for the 0-100 cm layer of farmland, grassland, shrubland and forest were 4.46, 5.05, 9.95, and 7.49 kg C m-3, respectively. The decrease in SOC from 60 to 150 years of abandonment implied that the soil carbon pool was a sink for CO2 before the shrubland stage and became a source in the later period. This change resulted from the spatially varied composition and structure of the vegetation. Vegetation recovery had a maximum effect on the surface (0-20 cm) SOC pool. It was concluded that vegetation recovery on the Loess Plateau could result in significantly increased sequestration of atmospheric CO2 in soil and vegetation, which was ecologically important for mitigating the increase of atmospheric concentration of CO2 and for ameliorating the local eco-environment.
Key Words:  soil organic carbon density, spatial-temporal change, vegetation recovery, vegetation succession
Citation: Li, Y. Y., Shao, M. A., Zheng, J. Y. and Zhang, X. C. 2005. Spatial-temporal changes of soil organic carbon during vegetation recovery at Ziwuling, China. Pedosphere. 15(5): 601-610.
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