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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

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