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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil & Water Management & Conservation

Carbon Turnover Kinetics with Depth in a French Loamy Soil


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 6, p. 2097-2105
    Received: Feb 9, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): daniel.rasse@bioforsk.no
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  1. Daniel P. Rasse *ab,
  2. Jan Mulderc,
  3. Christophe Monib and
  4. Claire Chenub
  1. a Bioforsk, Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Soil and Environment Division, 1432 Ås, Norway
    b UMR Biogéochimie et Ecologie des Milieux Continentaux. (BioEMCo), INRA-CNRS-INAPG-ENS-ENSCP-Univ. Paris VI, Bâtiment EGER, 78850 Thiverval-Grignon France
    c Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences, Dep. of Plant and Environmental Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway


Soil C dynamics below the plow layer have been little studied, in spite of proven large C stocks and suspected large C stabilization potential. The objective of the present study was to determine C-turnover kinetics throughout the 1-m profile of a cultivated loam soil of the Paris basin, France. The soil 13C signature was determined to depths of 1.05 m in 32 replicated plots having received from 0 to 10 yr of maize after wheat. Above- and below-ground maize-residue biomass inputs were estimated throughout the 10-yr period. After 10 yr, maize-derived soil organic carbon (SOC) constituted about 10, 5, and 2% of the total SOC at 15-, 50-, and 100-cm depths, respectively. About one-third of recently deposited maize-derived SOM present in the 1-m soil profile was retrieved below the Ap horizon. The ratios of maize-derived soil C to the cumulative maize above- and below-ground inputs over the 10-yr period averaged 17% across the soil profile. This ratio was lower in the Ap horizon (i.e., 13%) than in deeper soil horizons. Circumstantial evidences suggest that the distribution profile of recently deposited maize-derived C was influenced by fine root activities, bioturbation, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) transport, the latter being substantiated by a high correlation (r 2 = 0.86) between SOC contents and amorphous Fe + Al contents. In conclusion, our study stresses the need to take into account the full 1-m soil profile in C sequestration studies.

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