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Forests 2018, 9(10), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100598

Relationship between Soil Organic Carbon Stocks and Clay Content under Different Climatic Conditions in Central China

1
College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
Shaanxi Engineering Research Center of Circular Agriculture, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 24 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Understanding the association between soil organic carbon (SOC) and texture under different climatic conditions is important for assessing the effects of future climate changes on SOC stocks. In this study, we conducted a climatic gradient experiment covering three climate types (humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid) with a steep rainfall ranging from 345 to 910 mm, and specifically determined SOC dynamics, clay content, and vegetation and soil characteristics. The results showed that, from semi-arid to humid regions, SOC stocks, SOC, and clay content increased synchronously and were closely related in layers of depths of both 0–10 and 10–20 cm. In contrast, under similar climatic conditions, SOC dynamics were mainly affected by vegetation and soil characteristics, especially total nitrogen and total phosphorus dynamics, but not the soil clay content. Therefore, these results suggest that the relationship between SOC stocks and clay content depended on scale sizes. Specifically, on a larger scale with different climatic gradients, the climate may partly determine the changes in SOC and clay dynamics, whereas, at a smaller scale where climate type does not vary considerably, the changes in SOC stocks and clay content may be related to vegetation diversity and soil nutrient dynamics. These results may contribute to future model development and the projection of changes in soil carbon storage. View Full-Text
Keywords: climatic conditions; rainfall gradient; clay content; soil organic C; soil moisture climatic conditions; rainfall gradient; clay content; soil organic C; soil moisture
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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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Zhong, Z.; Chen, Z.; Xu, Y.; Ren, C.; Yang, G.; Han, X.; Ren, G.; Feng, Y. Relationship between Soil Organic Carbon Stocks and Clay Content under Different Climatic Conditions in Central China. Forests 2018, 9, 598.

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