Carbon sequestration and fertility after centennial time scale incorporation of charcoal into soil

Criscuoli, Irene, Alberti, Giorgio, Baronti, Silvia, Favilli, Filippo, Martinez, Cristina, Calzolari, Costanza, Pusceddu, Emanuela, Rumpel, Cornelia, Viola, Roberto and Miglietta, Franco (2014) Carbon sequestration and fertility after centennial time scale incorporation of charcoal into soil. Plos One, 9 3: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091114

Author Criscuoli, Irene
Alberti, Giorgio
Baronti, Silvia
Favilli, Filippo
Martinez, Cristina
Calzolari, Costanza
Pusceddu, Emanuela
Rumpel, Cornelia
Viola, Roberto
Miglietta, Franco
Title Carbon sequestration and fertility after centennial time scale incorporation of charcoal into soil
Journal name Plos One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2014-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0091114
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 3
Total pages 11
Place of publication San Francisco, CA United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The addition of pyrogenic carbon (C) in the soil is considered a potential strategy to achieve direct C sequestration and
potential reduction of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. In this paper, we investigated the long term effects of charcoal
addition on C sequestration and soil physico-chemical properties by studying a series of abandoned charcoal hearths in the
Eastern Alps of Italy established in the XIX century. This natural setting can be seen as an analogue of a deliberate
experiment with replications. Carbon sequestration was assessed indirectly by comparing the amount of pyrogenic C
present in the hearths (23.364.7 kg C m-2) with the estimated amount of charcoal that was left on the soil after the
carbonization (29.365.1 kg C m-2). After taking into account uncertainty associated with parameters’ estimation, we were
able to conclude that 80621% of the C originally added to the soil via charcoal can still be found there and that charcoal
has an overall Mean Residence Time of 6506139 years, thus supporting the view that charcoal incorporation is an effective
way to sequester atmospheric CO2. We also observed an overall change in the physical properties (hydrophobicity and bulk
density) of charcoal hearth soils and an accumulation of nutrients compared to the adjacent soil without charcoal. We
caution, however, that our site-specific results should not be generalized without further study.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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