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Forests 2015, 6(8), 2703-2718; doi:10.3390/f6082703

Change of Soil Carbon Fractions and Water-Stable Aggregates in a Forest Ecosystem Succession in South China

Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Philip J. Polglase and Eric J. Jokela
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 22 July 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 5 August 2015
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In order to evaluate the dynamics of carbon storage during forest succession and explore the significance of water relations and soil stability in forest environments, a study was conducted in 2011. This study investigated the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions and its protection through aggregation along the successional forests. An experiment in South China examined pine forest (PF), pine and broadleaved mixed forest (PBMF), and monsoon evergreen broadleaf forest (MEBF), which represent the early, middle, and advanced succession stages, respectively. Soil was sampled at 0–15, 15–30, 30–45, and 45–60 cm depths. We analyzed active, slow, and passive organic carbon, as well as particulate organic matter carbon (POM-C) and nitrogen (POM-N), and measured the weight and concentration of water-stable aggregates in four classes (>2000 μm, 250–2000 μm, 53–250 μm, and <53 μm). The results suggested that various carbon fractions and the percentage of active and passive carbon to total organic carbon (TOC) increased with forest succession. The percentage of water-stable aggregates in >2000 μm (0–15 cm and 15–30 cm) and <53 μm (45–60 cm) in MEBF was significantly higher than in PBMF and PF. The SOC content of all size classes of water-stable aggregates in 0–45 cm were significantly increased with forest succession. In conclusion, forest succession contributed to the accumulation of carbon storage, and the increasing percentage of silt- and clay-size (<53 μm) fraction improved the stability of soil organic matter (SOM). View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon fractions; soil water-stable aggregates; forest succession soil organic carbon fractions; soil water-stable aggregates; forest succession

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Xiang, H.; Zhang, L.; Wen, D. Change of Soil Carbon Fractions and Water-Stable Aggregates in a Forest Ecosystem Succession in South China. Forests 2015, 6, 2703-2718.

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