Pedosphere 22(3): 404--414, 2012
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2012 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Spatial variability of soil organic carbon and related factors in Jiangsu Province, China
CHUAI Xiao-Wei1, HUANG Xian-Jin1,2, WANG Wan-Jing1, ZHANG Mei1,3, LAI Li1,4 and LIAO Qi-Lin5
1 School of Geographic & Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)
2 Land Development and Consolidation Technology Engineering Center of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210093 (China)
3 Department of Urban and Resource Sciences, Jinling College, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China)
4 Jiangsu information Center, Nanjing 210013 (China)
5 Geological Survey of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210018 (China)
      Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays a key role in the global carbon cycle. In this study, we used statistical and geostatistical methods to characterize and compare the spatial heterogeneity of SOC in soils of Jiangsu Province, China, and investigate the factors that influence it, such as topography, soil type, and land use. Our study was based on 24 186 soil samples obtained from the surface soil layer (0-0.2 m) and covering the entire area of the province. Interpolated values of SOC density in the surface layer, obtained by kriging based on a spherical model, ranged between 3.25 and 32.43 kg m-3. The highest SOC densities tended to occur in the Taihu Plain, Lixia River Plain, along the Yangtze River, and in high-elevation hilly areas such as those in northern and southwest Jiangsu, while the lowest values were found in the coastal plain. Elevation, slope, soil type, and land use type significantly affected SOC densities. Steeper slope tended to result in SOC decline. Correlation between elevation and SOC densities was positive in the hill areas but negative in the low plain areas, probably due to the effect of different land cover types, temperature, and soil fertility. High SOC densities were usually found in limestone and paddy soils and low densities in coastal saline soils and alluvial soils, indicating that high clay and silt contents in the soils could lead to an increase, and high sand content to a decrease in the accumulation of SOC. SOC densities were sensitive to land use and usually increased in towns, woodland, paddy land, and shallow water areas, which were strongly affected by industrial and human activities, covered with highly productive vegetation, or subject to long-term use of organic fertilizers or flooding conditions.
Key Words:  industrial and human activities, land cover, land use, soil type, topography
Citation: Chuai, X. W., Huang, X. J., Wang, W. J., Zhang, M., Lai, L. and Liao, Q. L. 2012. Spatial variability of soil organic carbon and related factors in Jiangsu Province, China. Pedosphere. 22(3): 404-414.
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