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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - Soil Biology & Biochemistry

Stand Age and Productivity Control Soil Carbon Dioxide Efflux and Organic Carbon Dynamics in Poplar Plantations

 

This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 79 No. 6, p. 1638-1649
     
    Received: June 16, 2015
    Accepted: Sept 02, 2015
    Published: November 23, 2015


    * Corresponding author(s): scott.chang@ualberta.ca
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2015.06.0233
  1. Shou-Qin Sunab,
  2. Jagtar S. Bhattic,
  3. Rachhpal S. Jassald,
  4. Scott X. Chang *e,
  5. Carmela Arevalof,
  6. T. Andrew Blackg and
  7. Derek Siddersh
  1. a Key Lab. of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment Chinese Academy of Sciences No. 9, Block 4, South Renmin Rd. Chengdu, 610041 China
    b Dep. of Renewable Resources 442 Earth Sciences Building Univ. of Alberta Edmonton AB, T6G 2E3 Canada
    c Northern Forestry Centre Canadian Forest Service 5320 122nd St. Edmonton AB, T6H 3S5 Canada
    d Biometeorology and Soil Physics Group Faculty of Land and Food Systems Univ. of British Columbia Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z4 Canada
    e Dep. of Renewable Resources 442 Earth Sciences Building Univ. of Alberta Edmonton AB, T6G 2E3 Canada
    f Northern Forestry Centre Canadian Forest Service 5320 122nd St. Edmonton AB, T6H 3S5 Canada
    g Biometeorology and Soil Physics Group Faculty of Land and Food Systems Univ. of British Columbia Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z4 Canada
    h Canadian Wood Fibre Centre Edmonton AB, T6H 3S5 Canada

Abstract

Establishment of hybrid poplar (HP) plantations has been advocated as an effective method for sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. However, how carbon (C) cycling in HP plantations changes during stand development under different soil fertility and climatic conditions is poorly understood. We studied the dynamics of soil respiration (Rs) and its heterotrophic (Rh) and autotrophic (Ra) components and soil organic C (SOC) content in HP plantations of different stand ages established on soils with different productivity (Class 1 vs. Class 3 soils) in Alberta (AB) and Ontario (ON), Canada. The Rs was the highest for AB-Class 1 (high-productivity) soils, followed by AB-Class 3 and ON-Class 3 (low-productivity) soils. Annual Rs, Rh, and Rh/Rs decreased in the first 3 yr in AB-Class 1 and 6 yr in AB-Class 3 soils after plantation establishment and increased thereafter, but they increased with stand age after plantation establishment in ON-Class 3 soils. The SOC content in the AB-Class 1, AB-Class 3, and ON-Class 3 sites decreased in the first 3, 5, and 1.5 yr, respectively, after plantation establishment and then increased, reaching the pre-establishment level after 6, 10, and 3 yr, respectively. From this first attempt to understand C cycling across multiple sites with different soil fertility levels, we conclude that stand age and soil productivity play a significant role in affecting C cycling, and such effects should be considered in regional and global C cycling models, especially when assessing the C sequestration potential of HP plantations.

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