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Weathering controls on mechanisms of carbon storage in grassland soils

Description: On a sequence of soils developed under similar vegetation, temperature, and precipitation conditions, but with variations in mineralogical properties, we use organic carbon and 14C inventories to examine mineral protection of soil organic carbon. In these soils, 14C data indicate that the creation of slow-cycling carbon can be modeled as occurring through reaction of organic ligands with Al3+ and Fe3+ cations in the upper horizons, followed by sorption to amorphous inorganic Al compounds at depth. Only one of these processes, the chelation of Al3+ and Fe3+ by organic ligands, is linked to large carbon stocks. Organic ligands stabilized by this process traverse the soil column as dissolved organic carbon (both from surface horizons and root exudates). At our moist grassland site, this chelation and transport process is very strongly correlated with the storage and long-term stabilization of soil organic carbon. Our 14C results show that the mechanisms of organic carbon transport and storage at this site follow a classic model previously believed to only be significant in a single soil order (Spodosols), and closely related to the presence of forests. The presence of this process in the grassland Alfisol, Inceptisol, and Mollisol soils of this chronosequence suggests that this process is a more significant control on organic carbon storage than previously thought.
Date: September 1, 2004
Creator: Masiello, C.A.; Chadwick, O.A.; Southon, J.; Torn, M.S. & Harden, J.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Stuffing Carbon Away: Mechanisms of Carbon Sequestration in Soils

Description: Soils offer the potential to sequester large quantities of carbon from the atmosphere for decades to millennia and so may ameliorate the anthropogenic influence of fossil fuel release. However changes in climate can drastically affect the soil's ability to store carbon through changes mineralogy on time scales of human interest. It is essential to understand the major controls on soil carbon dynamics before we attempt to manage sequestration to control atmospheric CO{sub 2} buildup. Models of the terrestrial carbon cycle often use clay content to parameterize soil carbon turnover. Evidence from volcanic soils suggests that soil mineralogy is a major control on a soil's ability to store carbon, because different types of minerals have widely varying abilities to physically and chemically isolate soil organic matter from decomposition, however volcanic soils represent only a small percentage of the earth's soils. The relationship between precipitation and soil carbon storage is also complex and poorly constrained. Significantly, precipitation changes predicted as a result of atmospheric CO{sub 2} doubling include increased rainfall throughout California. We utilized {sup 14}C, {delta}{sup 13}C, and the total organic carbon, iron, and aluminum contents to address the question of the importance of mineralogy and climate on carbon storage in soils formed on a globally representative parent material. The California coastal terraces, formed over the last 500 thousand years as a result of tectonic uplift and sea level change, provide a natural laboratory to examine the effect of mineralogy and climate on carbon storage. We have focused on two terraces sequences, one near Eureka and one near Santa Cruz. Within each set of terraces only soil mineral development varies; all other variables are constant (rainfall, plant systems, and soil parent material, and land management). Annual precipitation at Eureka is twice that at Santa Cruz, allowing us to examine its role ...
Date: January 24, 2003
Creator: Reimer, P J; Masiello, C A; Southon, J R; Trumbore, S E; Harden, J W; White, A F et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Young organic matter as a source of carbon dioxide outgassing from Amazonian rivers

Description: Rivers are generally supersaturated with respect to carbon dioxide, resulting in large gas evasion fluxes that can be a significant component of regional net carbon budgets. Amazonian rivers were recently shown to outgas more than ten times the amount of carbon exported to the ocean in the form of total organic carbon or dissolved inorganic carbon. High carbon dioxide concentrations in rivers originate largely from in situ respiration of organic carbon, but little agreement exists about the sources or turnover times of this carbon. Here we present results of an extensive survey of the carbon isotope composition ({sup 13}C and {sup 14}C) of dissolved inorganic carbon and three size-fractions of organic carbon across the Amazonian river system. We find that respiration of contemporary organic matter (less than 5 years old) originating on land and near rivers is the dominant source of excess carbon dioxide that drives outgassing in mid-size to large rivers, although we find that bulk organic carbon fractions transported by these rivers range from tens to thousands of years in age. We therefore suggest that a small, rapidly cycling pool of organic carbon is responsible for the large carbon fluxes from land to water to atmosphere in the humid tropics.
Date: June 23, 2005
Creator: Mayorga, E; Aufdenkampe, A K; Masiello, C A; Krusche, A V; Hedges, J I; Quay, P D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department