Title: Forest conversion to poplar plantation in a Lombardy floodplain (Italy): effects on soil carbon stock
Authors: FERRE ChiaraCOMOLLI RobertoLEIP AdrianSEUFERT Guenther
Citation: BIOGEOSCIENCES vol. 11 no. 22 p. 6483-6489
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC89233
ISSN: 1726-4170
URI: http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/6483/2014/bg-11-6483-2014.html
DOI: 10.5194/bg-11-6483-2014
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Effects of forest conversion to poplar plantation on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks were investigated by sampling paired plots in an alluvial area of the Ticino river in Northern Italy. According to land registers and historical aerial photographs, the two sites were part of a larger area of a 200 years-old natural forest that was partly converted to poplar plantation in 1973. The soil sampling of three layers down to a depth of 100 cm was performed at 90 and 70 points in the natural forest (NF) and in the nearby poplar plantation (PP) respectively. The substitution of the natural forest with the poplar plantation strongly modified soil C stock down to a depth of 55 cm, although the management practices at PP were not intensive. By evaluation of equivalent soil masses, the comparison of C stocks (organic layer included) between the different land uses showed a decrease in SOC of 5.7 kg m−2 after 37 years of poplar cultivation, corresponding to more than 1/3 of the initial organic carbon content. The land use change from NF to PP not only affected the stock but also the vertical distribution of SOC: plowing led to the transfer of SOC from soil surface into the deeper layers resulting in a more uniform allocation of C in the ploughed layer and disappearance of the SOC stratification observed in the forest.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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