Carbon storage in a Ferrosol under subtropical rainforest, tree plantations, and pasture is linked to soil aggregation

Richards, AE, Dalal, RC and Schmidt, S (2009) Carbon storage in a Ferrosol under subtropical rainforest, tree plantations, and pasture is linked to soil aggregation. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF SOIL RESEARCH, 47 4: 341-350. doi:10.1071/SR08162

Author Richards, AE
Dalal, RC
Schmidt, S
Title Carbon storage in a Ferrosol under subtropical rainforest, tree plantations, and pasture is linked to soil aggregation
Journal name AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF SOIL RESEARCH   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-9573
Publication date 2009-06-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/SR08162
Open Access Status
Volume 47
Issue 4
Start page 341
End page 350
Total pages 10
Editor Fegent, J.C.
Place of publication Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Subject C1
050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
961403 Forest and Woodlands Soils
829802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Plant Production
Abstract S
Formatted abstract
Soil is a large sink for carbon (C), with the potential to significantly reduce the net increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. However, we previously showed that subtropical tree plantations store less C into long-term soil pools than rainforest or pasture. To explore reasons for differences in C storage between different land-use systems, we examined the relationships between soil aggregation, iron and aluminium oxide and hydroxide content, and soil organic C (SOC) under exotic C4 pasture (Pennisetum clandestinum), native hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) plantations, and rainforest. We measured SOC concentrations of water-stable and fully dispersed aggregates to assess the location of soil C. Concentrations of dithionite- and oxalate-extractable iron and aluminium were also determined to assess their role in SOC sequestration. Soil under rainforest and pasture contained more C in intra-aggregate particulate organic matter (iPOM, >53 μm) than hoop pine plantations, indicating that in rainforest and pasture, greater stabilisation of SOC occurred via soil aggregation. SOC was not significantly correlated with dithionite- and oxalate-extractable Fe and Al in these systems, indicating that sorption sites of Fe and Al oxides and hydroxides were saturated. We concluded that soil C under rainforest and pasture is stabilised by incorporation within soil aggregates, which results in greater storage of C in soil under pasture than plantations following land-use change. The reduced storage of C as iPOM in plantation soil contributes to the negative soil C budget of plantations compared with rainforest and pasture, even 63 years after establishment. The results have relevance for CO2 mitigation schemes based on tree plantations.

Keyword Fe and Al oxides
soil organic carbon
carbon sequestration
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 17:54:43 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences