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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 563;

Spatial Expansion and Soil Organic Carbon Storage Changes of Croplands in the Sanjiang Plain, China

Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis 420, IN 46202, USA
Jilin Province Water Resource and Hydropower Consultative Company of P. R. China, Changchun 130021, China
College of Computer and Information, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
College of Earth Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130100, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mary J. Thornbush
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Geography and Environmental Sustainability)
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Soil is the largest pool of terrestrial organic carbon in the biosphere and interacts strongly with the atmosphere, climate and land cover. Remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) were used to study the spatio-temporal dynamics of croplands and soil organic carbon density (SOCD) in the Sanjiang Plain, to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. Results show that croplands increased with 10,600.68 km2 from 1992 to 2012 in the Sanjiang Plain. Area of 13,959.43 km2 of dry farmlands were converted into paddy fields. Cropland SOC storage is estimated to be 1.29 ± 0.27 Pg C (1 Pg = 103 Tg = 1015 g) in 2012. Although the mean value of SOCD for croplands decreased from 1992 to 2012, the SOC storage of croplands in the top 1 m in the Sanjiang Plain increased by 70 Tg C (1220 to 1290). This is attributed to the area increases of cropland. The SOCD of paddy fields was higher and decreased more slowly than that of dry farmlands from 1992 to 2012. Conversion between dry farmlands and paddy fields and the agricultural reclamation from natural land-use types significantly affect the spatio-temporal patterns of cropland SOCD in the Sanjiang Plain. Regions with higher and lower SOCD values move northeast and westward, respectively, which is almost consistent with the movement direction of centroids for paddy fields and dry farmlands in the study area. Therefore, these results were verified. SOC storages in dry farmlands decreased by 17.5 Tg·year−1 from 1992 to 2012, whilst paddy fields increased by 21.0 Tg·C·year−1. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon (SOC); cropland expansion; object-oriented classification; land cover change; remote sensing (RS) soil organic carbon (SOC); cropland expansion; object-oriented classification; land cover change; remote sensing (RS)

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Man, W.; Yu, H.; Li, L.; Liu, M.; Mao, D.; Ren, C.; Wang, Z.; Jia, M.; Miao, Z.; Lu, C.; Li, H. Spatial Expansion and Soil Organic Carbon Storage Changes of Croplands in the Sanjiang Plain, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 563.

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