Losses of soil organic carbon under wind erosion in China

Authors

  • Hao Yan,

    1. Division of Remote Sensing and Agrometerology, National Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Zhongguancun South Street, 46, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China,
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  • Shaoqiang Wang,

    1. The Synthesis Research Center, Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China,
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  • Changyao Wang,

    1. Laboratory of Remote Sensing Information Sciences, Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China,
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  • Guoping Zhang,

    1. Division of Remote Sensing and Agrometerology, National Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Zhongguancun South Street, 46, Haidian District, Beijing 100081, China,
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  • Nilanchal Patel

    1. Department of Remote Sensing, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi 835215, India
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Hao Yan, tel. 86 10 68409655, fax 86 10 62172982, e-mail: yanhaon@yahoo.com.cn

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) storage generally represents the long-term net balance of photosynthesis and total respiration in terrestrial ecosystems. However, soil erosion can affect SOC content by direct removal of soil and reduction of the surface soil depth; it also affects plant growth and soil biological activity, soil air CO2 concentration, water regimes, soil temperature, soil respiration, carbon flux to the atmosphere, and carbon deposition in soil. In arid and semi-arid region of northern China, wind erosion caused soil degradation and desert expansion. This paper estimated the SOC loss of the surface horizon at eroded regions based on soil property and wind erosion intensity data. The SOC loss in China because of wind erosion was about 75 Tg C yr−1 in 1990s. The spatial pattern of SOC loss indicates that SOC loss of the surface horizon increases significantly with the increase of soil wind erosion intensity. The comparison of SOC loss and annual net primary productivity (NPP) of terrestrial ecosystem was discussed in wind erosion regions of China. We found that NPP is also low in the eroded regions and heavy SOC loss often occurs in regions where NPP is very small. However, there is potential to improve our study to resolve uncertainty on the soil organic matter oxidation and soil deposition processes in eroded and deposited sites.

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