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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 780; doi:10.3390/ijerph14070780

Spatial Variation of Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen in the Coastal Area of Mid-Eastern China

1
School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2
Key Laboratory of the Coastal Zone Exploitation and Protection, Ministry of Land and Resources, Nanjing 210024, China
3
School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, Suzhou 215009, China
4
Geological Survey of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210028, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 14 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Abstract

Soils play an important role in sequestrating atmospheric CO2. Coastal tidal flats have been intensively reclaimed for food security and living spaces worldwide. We aimed to identify the changes of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) following coastal reclamation and their spatial variation in the coastal area of mid-Eastern China to provide information for coastal cropland management. We measured SOC and TN of 463 soil samples in the coastal plain of mid-Eastern China. The results showed that SOC and TN increased highly from the uncultivated coastal tidal flat (2.49 g·kg−1 and 0.21 g·kg−1, respectively) to the cropland (10.73 g·kg−1 and 1.3 g·kg−1, respectively). After long-term cultivation, SOC and TN in the old farmland (12.98 g·kg−1 and 1.49 g·kg−1, respectively) were greater than those in the young farmland (5.76 g·kg−1 and 0.86 g·kg−1, respectively). The density of SOC in the uncultivated coastal tidal flat, young farmland, and old farmland were 0.68 kg·C·m−2, 1.52 kg·C·m−2, and 3.31 kg·C·m−2, respectively. The density of TN in the uncultivated coastal tidal flat, young farmland and old farmland were 0.05 kg·N·m−2, 0.23 kg·N·m−2, and 0.38 kg·N·m−2, respectively. The C/N (11.17) in the uncultivated coastal tidal flat was highest comparing to that in the young and old farmland due to lower nitrogen. The C/N increased from 6.78 to 8.71 following cultivation. Reclaimed coastal tidal flats had high carbon and nitrogen sequestration potential that not only mitigated the threat of global warming, but also improved soil fertility for crop production. Coastal management of cropland should consider the spatial distribution of SOC and TN to improve ecosystem services of coastal soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; coastal reclamation; carbon sequestration; prograding coast ecosystem services; coastal reclamation; carbon sequestration; prograding coast
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, Y.; Pu, L.; Liao, Q.; Zhu, M.; Yu, X.; Mao, T.; Xu, C. Spatial Variation of Soil Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen in the Coastal Area of Mid-Eastern China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 780.

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