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Article

Land Cover Change and Soil Carbon Regulating Ecosystem Services in the State of South Carolina, USA

1
Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
2
University Key Lab for Geomatics Technology and Optimized Resources Utilization, No. 15 Shangxiadian Road, Fuzhou 350002, China
3
College of Forestry, Agriculture, and Natural Resources, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Monticello, AR 71655, USA
4
Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA
5
Geography Department, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97202, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Earth 2021, 2(4), 674-695; https://doi.org/10.3390/earth2040040
Received: 10 June 2021 / Revised: 27 August 2021 / Accepted: 29 August 2021 / Published: 26 September 2021
Integration of land cover change with soil information is important for valuation of soil carbon (C) regulating ecosystem services (ES) and disservices (ED) and for site-specific land management. The objective of this study was to assess the change in value of regulating ES from soil organic carbon (SOC), soil inorganic carbon (SIC), and total soil carbon (TSC) stocks, based on the concept of the avoided social cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the state of South Carolina (SC) in the United States of America (U.S.A.) by soil order (Soil Taxonomy), land cover, and land cover change (National Land Cover Database, NLCD) using information from the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) and Soil Survey Geographic Database (SSURGO) databases. Classified land cover data for 2001 and 2016 were downloaded from the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MRLC) website. The total estimated monetary mid-point value for TSC in the state of South Carolina was $124.42B (i.e., $124.42 billion U.S. dollars, where B = billion = 109) with the following monetary distribution in 2016 and percent change in value between 2001 and 2016: barren land ($259.7M, −9%) (i.e., $259.7 million U.S. dollars, where M = million = 106), woody wetlands ($33.8B, −1%), shrub/scrub ($3.9B, +9%), mixed forest ($6.9B, +5%), deciduous forest ($10.6B, −7%), herbaceous ($4.8B, −5%), evergreen forest ($28.6B, +1%), emergent herbaceous wetlands ($6.9B, −3%), hay/pasture ($7.3B, −10%), cultivated crops ($9.9B, 0%), developed, open space ($7.0B, +5%), developed, medium intensity ($978M, +46%), developed, low intensity ($2.9B, +15%), and developed, high intensity ($318M, +39%). The percent change in monetary values was different from percent change in areas because different soil orders have different TSC contents. The percent changes (between 2001 and 2016) both in areas and monetary values varied by soil order and land cover with $1.1B in likely “realized” social cost of C mostly associated with Ultisols ($658.8M). The Midlands region of the state experienced the highest gains in the “high disturbance” classes and corresponding SC-CO2 with over $421M for TSC, $354.6M for SOC, and $66.4M for SIC. Among counties, Horry County ranked first with over $142.2M in SC-CO2 for TSC, followed by Lexington ($103.7M), Richland ($95.3M), Greenville ($81.4M), York ($77.5M), Charleston ($70.7M), Beaufort ($64.1M), Berkeley ($50.9M), Spartanburg ($50.0M), and Aiken ($43.0M) counties. Spatial and temporal analyses of land cover can identify critical locations of soil carbon regulating ecosystem services at risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: accounting; carbon emissions; CO2; inorganic; organic; regulating; soil; urbanization accounting; carbon emissions; CO2; inorganic; organic; regulating; soil; urbanization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mikhailova, E.A.; Lin, L.; Hao, Z.; Zurqani, H.A.; Post, C.J.; Schlautman, M.A.; Post, G.C. Land Cover Change and Soil Carbon Regulating Ecosystem Services in the State of South Carolina, USA. Earth 2021, 2, 674-695. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth2040040

AMA Style

Mikhailova EA, Lin L, Hao Z, Zurqani HA, Post CJ, Schlautman MA, Post GC. Land Cover Change and Soil Carbon Regulating Ecosystem Services in the State of South Carolina, USA. Earth. 2021; 2(4):674-695. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth2040040

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mikhailova, Elena A., Lili Lin, Zhenbang Hao, Hamdi A. Zurqani, Christopher J. Post, Mark A. Schlautman, and Gregory C. Post. 2021. "Land Cover Change and Soil Carbon Regulating Ecosystem Services in the State of South Carolina, USA" Earth 2, no. 4: 674-695. https://doi.org/10.3390/earth2040040

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