Climate and time are among the most important factors driving soil organic carbon (SOC) stability and accrual in mineral soils; however, their relative importance on SOC dynamics is still unclear. Therefore, understanding how these factors covary over a range of soil developmental stages is crucial to improve our knowledge of climate change impact on SOC accumulation and persistence. Two chronosequences located along a climate gradient were investigated to determine the main interactions among time (age) and climate (precipitation and temperature) on SOC stability and stock with depth. Considering a common depth (0-15 or 0-30 cm), in the drier chronosequence, the older soil showed the highest SOC stock, while the younger exhibited the lowest carbon accumulation. Considering the whole profile, the SOC stock increased with age. In the wetter chronosequence, the younger soil showed the highest SOC stock considering a common depth, whereas, when the entire profile is taken into account, the older one accumulated 2-3 times more SOC than the others. In both chronosequences, significant stocks of SOC (~42 %) were accumulated >30 cm. Soil organic matter stability, assessed by thermal analysis and heterotrophic respiration, increases with depth and age only in the drier chronosequence. Soils from the wetter chronosequence were instead characterized by a greater quantity of labile and/or not-stabilized SOC; here, the amorphous Fe/Al-rich secondary mineral weathering products showed an essential predictor function of SOC storage, although they do not seem to be involved in SOC stabilization mechanisms. Otherwise, the interaction of SOC with fine particles, short-range order minerals, and organo-metal complexes represent the significant stabilization mechanisms in soils from drier climate. The results highlighted how the age factor plays an unassuming role in geochemical processes influencing SOC dynamics; however, climate determines different trajectories of soil development and SOC dynamics for a given soil age. Thus, soil age shows a key role in SOC stabilization especially in drier climatic conditions, while wetter conditions determine an accumulation of a higher yet more labile amount of SOC.

Soil organic matter dynamics and stability: Climate vs. time

Galluzzi, Giorgio;Giannetta, Beatrice;Zaccone, Claudio
2024-01-01

Abstract

Climate and time are among the most important factors driving soil organic carbon (SOC) stability and accrual in mineral soils; however, their relative importance on SOC dynamics is still unclear. Therefore, understanding how these factors covary over a range of soil developmental stages is crucial to improve our knowledge of climate change impact on SOC accumulation and persistence. Two chronosequences located along a climate gradient were investigated to determine the main interactions among time (age) and climate (precipitation and temperature) on SOC stability and stock with depth. Considering a common depth (0-15 or 0-30 cm), in the drier chronosequence, the older soil showed the highest SOC stock, while the younger exhibited the lowest carbon accumulation. Considering the whole profile, the SOC stock increased with age. In the wetter chronosequence, the younger soil showed the highest SOC stock considering a common depth, whereas, when the entire profile is taken into account, the older one accumulated 2-3 times more SOC than the others. In both chronosequences, significant stocks of SOC (~42 %) were accumulated >30 cm. Soil organic matter stability, assessed by thermal analysis and heterotrophic respiration, increases with depth and age only in the drier chronosequence. Soils from the wetter chronosequence were instead characterized by a greater quantity of labile and/or not-stabilized SOC; here, the amorphous Fe/Al-rich secondary mineral weathering products showed an essential predictor function of SOC storage, although they do not seem to be involved in SOC stabilization mechanisms. Otherwise, the interaction of SOC with fine particles, short-range order minerals, and organo-metal complexes represent the significant stabilization mechanisms in soils from drier climate. The results highlighted how the age factor plays an unassuming role in geochemical processes influencing SOC dynamics; however, climate determines different trajectories of soil development and SOC dynamics for a given soil age. Thus, soil age shows a key role in SOC stabilization especially in drier climatic conditions, while wetter conditions determine an accumulation of a higher yet more labile amount of SOC.
2024
Biological stability
Carbon storage
Heterotrophic respiration
Soil age
Thermal stability
Weathering indices
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1124526
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