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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Soil Aggregate Stability on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen under Land Use Change in an Erodible Region in Southwest China

1
Institute of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
2
School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3809; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203809
Received: 1 September 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
Soil aggregate stability can indicate soil quality, and affects soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil organic nitrogen (SON) sequestration. However, for erodible soils, the effects of soil aggregate stability on SOC and SON under land use change are not well known. In this study, soil aggregate distribution, SOC and SON content, soil aggregate stability, and soil erodibility were determined in the soils at different depths along the stages following agricultural abandonment, including cropland, abandoned cropland, and native vegetation land in an erodible region of Southwest China. Soil aggregation, soil aggregate stability, and SOC and SON content in the 0–20 cm depth soils increased after agricultural abandonment, but soil texture and soil erodibility were not affected by land use change. Soil erodibility remained in a low level when SOC contents were over 20 g·kg−1, and it significantly increased with the loss of soil organic matter (SOM). The SOC and SON contents increased with soil aggregate stability. This study suggests that rapidly recovered soil aggregate stability after agricultural abandonment promotes SOM sequestration, whereas sufficient SOM can effectively maintain soil quality in karst ecological restoration. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil nutrients; agricultural abandonment; soil aggregation; soil degradation soil nutrients; agricultural abandonment; soil aggregation; soil degradation
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Liu, M.; Han, G.; Zhang, Q. Effects of Soil Aggregate Stability on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen under Land Use Change in an Erodible Region in Southwest China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3809.

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