Effects of added organic matter and water on soil carbon sequestration in an arid region

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Lai, Liming
Li, Yufei
Tian, Yuan
Jiang, Lianhe
Zhao, Xuechun
Zhu, Linhai
Chen, Xi
Gao, Yong
Wang, Shaoming
Zheng, Yuanrun
Lai, Liming; Li, Yufei; Tian, Yuan; Jiang, Lianhe; Zhao, Xuechun; Zhu, Linhai; Chen, Xi; Gao, Yong; Wang, Shaoming; Zheng, Yuanrun; Rimmington, Glyn M. 2013. Effects of Added Organic Matter and Water on Soil Carbon Sequestration in an Arid Region. PLoS ONE, v.8:no.7:article no.e70224
It is generally predicted that global warming will stimulate primary production and lead to more carbon (C) inputs to soil. However, many studies have found that soil C does not necessarily increase with increased plant litter input. Precipitation has increased in arid central Asia, and is predicted to increase more, so we tested the effects of adding fresh organic matter (FOM) and water on soil C sequestration in an arid region in northwest China. The results suggested that added FOM quickly decomposed and had minor effects on the soil organic carbon (SOC) pool to a depth of 30 cm. Both FOM and water addition had significant effects on the soil microbial biomass. The soil microbial biomass increased with added FOM, reached a maximum, and then declined as the FOM decomposed. The FOM had a more significant stimulating effect on microbial biomass with water addition. Under the soil moisture ranges used in this experiment (21.0%–29.7%), FOM input was more important than water addition in the soil C mineralization process. We concluded that short-term FOM input into the belowground soil and water addition do not affect the SOC pool in shrubland in an arid region.
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Open Access article freely available online.