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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1154;

Spatial-Temporal Changes of Soil Organic Carbon Content in Wafangdian, China

College of Land and Environment, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, Liaoning Province, China
Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sanzidur Rahman
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 5 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 November 2016 / Published: 10 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
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Soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role in soil fertility and the global carbon cycle. A better understanding of spatial-temporal changes of SOC content is essential for soil resource management, emission studies, and carbon accounting. In this study, we used a boosted regression trees (BRT) model to map distributions of SOC content in the topsoil (0–20 cm) and evaluated its temporal dynamics from 1990–2010 in Wafangdian City, northeast of China. A set of 110 (1990) and 127 (2010) soil samples were collected and nine environment variables (including topography and vegetation) were used. A 10-fold cross-validation was used to evaluate model performance as well as predictive uncertainty. Accuracy assessments showed that R2 of 0.53 and RMSE (Root-mean-square error) of 9.7 g∙kg−1 for 1990, and 0.55, and 5.2 g∙kg−1 for 2010. Elevation and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) were the two important variables affecting SOC distribution. Results showed that mean SOC content decreased from 19 ± 14 to 18 ± 8 g∙kg−1 over a 20 year period. The maps of SOC represented a decreasing trend from south to north across the study area in both periods. Rapid urbanization and land-use changes were accountable for declining SOC levels. We believe predicted maps of SOC can help local land managers and government agencies to evaluate soil quality and assess carbon sequestration potential and carbon credits. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon; digital soil mapping; boosted regression trees; land-use change; topography soil organic carbon; digital soil mapping; boosted regression trees; land-use change; topography

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Wang, S.; Wang, Q.; Adhikari, K.; Jia, S.; Jin, X.; Liu, H. Spatial-Temporal Changes of Soil Organic Carbon Content in Wafangdian, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1154.

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