Soil organic carbon stocks and quality in small-scale tropical, sub-humid and semi-arid watersheds under shrubland and dry deciduous forest in southwestern India - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Geoderma Year : 2022

Soil organic carbon stocks and quality in small-scale tropical, sub-humid and semi-arid watersheds under shrubland and dry deciduous forest in southwestern India

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Abstract

Soil organic carbon is regulated by a dynamic interaction of vegetation inputs, organic matter degradation and stabilization processes in soils, and its redistribution in the landscape. Tropical ecosystems are highly important in terms of carbon stored in vegetation and soil, but many processes of the soil carbon cycle in the tropics are yet to be fully understood. Here, we studied soil organic carbon stocks and quality in small-scale tropical, sub-humid and semi-arid watersheds along a climate gradient in southwestern India with varying vegetation and geology to identify major drivers of soil organic carbon dynamics in three prevalent soil types (Lixisol, Vertisol and Ferralsol) under shrubland and dry deciduous forest. We used a combination of organic carbon analysis (total organic carbon content, 13 C, C:N), mid-infrared spectroscopy and soil property information (bulk density, texture, oxides, pH, cation-exchange capacity). Soil organic carbon stocks in these watersheds showed a substantial range from 58.2 to 169.4 Mg C ha − 1 in the first 60 cm, and the differences depended on local-to watershed-scale variations in vegetation type and history, geology, soil physio-chemical (clay, oxides) and biological (bioturbation) properties. Considerable parts of the organic carbon stored in these soils was found below 30 cm (up to 40 %), stressing the importance of tropical subsoils. From our analysis of the soil organic carbon quality and literature data on paleoclimate and vegetation, we could identify land-use changes in these watersheds, from tropical moist evergreen forests, forest-savannah transitions and plantations to secondary regrowth forest over time. Our study provides new data and insights into the local-scale drivers of soil organic carbon quantity and quality of tropical, sub-humid and semi-arid watersheds under shrubland and dry deciduous forest with varying geology and soil types.
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hal-03763398 , version 1 (22-09-2022)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Severin-Luca Bellè, Jean Riotte, Muddu Sekhar, Laurent Ruiz, Marcus Schiedung, et al.. Soil organic carbon stocks and quality in small-scale tropical, sub-humid and semi-arid watersheds under shrubland and dry deciduous forest in southwestern India. Geoderma, 2022, 409, pp.115606. ⟨10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115606⟩. ⟨hal-03763398⟩
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