Title: Distribution of Organic Carbon in Soil Profile Data
Authors: HIEDERER Roland
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC53878
ISBN: 978-92-79-13352-7
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23980 EN
OPOCE LB-NA-23980-EN-C
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC53878
DOI: 10.2788/33102
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: While the major portion of organic carbon in the soil is concentrated in the upper 30 cm soil profile data show that significant quantities of OC can also be found at lower depths even in mineral soils. The subsoil layer of 30-100 cm layer is estimated to contain as much organic carbon as the topsoil layer (Batjes, 1996; FAO, 2001; Jobbagy & Jackson, 2000). For the topsoil layer soil organic carbon content has previously been estimated at pan-European scale for the topsoil layer (Jones et al., 2005). In this study the possibility of advancing the existing methodology to allow estimating organic carbon in the subsoil layer to 100 cm was therefore investigated. Rather then developing a pedo-transfer rule for subsoil organic carbon content it was investigated whether the rule-based system could be substituted by a function linking the subsoil organic carbon content to the portion found in the topsoil. In the analysis the foremost factors influencing the change of organic carbon within a profile have been evaluated. To develop the function and the influence of the factors influencing the distribution of organic carbon within the profiles data from several databases were subjected to a statistical analysis. The findings indicate that the organic carbon content of the subsoil layer varies to a much lesser degree that of the topsoil layer. The evaluation of the influence of land cover suggests that under forest the subsoil stratum amounts to approx. 25% of the topsoil value while for arable land the decline of organic carbon content with depth is shallower with approx. 55%, with soils under grassland and shrub land ranging in between. A marked difference in the distribution of organic carbon between the topsoil and the subsoil layer from profiles with mineral soils to those form organic soils was observed. For organic soils the organic carbon content generally increases with depth, in particular under arable land.
JRC Institute:Institute for Environment and Sustainability

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