Soil organic carbon stocks in Flemish grasslands: how accurate are they?
Article first published online: 24 NOV 2004
Grass and Forage Science
Volume 59, Issue 4, pages 310–317, December 2004
How to Cite
Mestdagh, I., Lootens, P., Van Cleemput, O. and Carlier, L. (2004), Soil organic carbon stocks in Flemish grasslands: how accurate are they?. Grass and Forage Science, 59: 310–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2494.2004.00432.x
- Issue published online: 24 NOV 2004
- Article first published online: 24 NOV 2004
- Received 29 March 2004; revised 16 July 2004
- carbon sequestration;
- soil organic carbon;
- carbon stocks;
- carbon databases;
Articles 3·3 and 3·4 of the Kyoto protocol provide Annex I countries the possibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the sequestration of carbon (C) in their terrestrial ecosystems. For such accounting, the 1990 flux is needed and, therefore, a correct knowledge of the baseline (1990) C stocks is necessary. In addition, a correct methodology should be used to investigate the capacity of ecosystems to sequester C through changes in land use or management by the end of the first commitment period (2008–2012). At national and regional scales, formulation of baseline C stocks in terrestrial ecosystems is difficult and uncertain. Differences in method of analysis, sampling depth of soil, lack of sufficient C data and the necessity to extrapolate C data to total soil organic C stocks, provide problems when comparing databases with each other. In this study, three extrapolation models were compared with the classical layer-based method to determine the model with the best fit. The model with the best predictions, in relation to the classical layer-based model, uses recent soil C profiles for estimating the parameter k, which represents the decrease in the proportion of soil organic C with depth, and for extrapolating the C data available for 1990 and 2000 to a depth of 1 m. The other two models gave large underestimates.