Pedosphere 19(4): 486--495, 2009
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2009 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in a watershed on the Loess Plateau
WANG Yun-Qiang1,2, ZHANG Xing-Chang1,3, ZHANG Jing-Li3 and LI Shun-Ji3
1 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dry-land Farming on the Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100 (China)
2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China)
3 College of Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100 (China)
      Soil organic carbon (SOC) has great impacts on global warming, land degradation and food security. Classic statistical and geostatistical methods were used to characterize and compare the spatial heterogeneity of SOC and related factors, such as topography, soil type and land use, in the Liudaogou watershed on the Loess Plateau of North China. SOC concentrations followed a log-normal distribution with an arithmetic and geometric means of 23.4 and 21.3 g kg-1, respectively, were moderately variable (CV = 75.9%), and demonstrated a moderate spatial dependence according to the nugget ratio (34.7%). The experimental variogram of SOC was best-fitted by a spherical model, after the spatial outliers had been detected and subsequently eliminated. Lower SOC concentrations were associated with higher elevations. Warp soils and farmland had the highest SOC concentrations, while aeolian sand soil and shrublands had the lowest SOC values. The geostatistical characteristics of SOC for the different soil and land use types were different. These patterns were closely related to the spatial structure of topography, and soil and land use types.
Key Words:  geostatistics, land use, soil type, spatial pattern, topography
Citation: Wang, Y. Q., 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(4): 486-495.
View Full Text

Copyright © 2023 Editorial Committee of PEDOSPHERE. All rights reserved.
Address: P. O. Box 821, 71 East Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008, China    E-mail:
Technical support: Beijing E-Tiller Co.,Ltd.