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Geophysical Monograph Series

 

Keywords

  • Carbon sequestration
  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)

Index Terms

  • 1620 Global Change: Climate dynamics
  • 1622 Global Change: Earth system modeling
  • 1865 Hydrology: Soils

Article

GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 183, PP. 129-133, 2009

Soil inorganic carbon sequestration as a result of cultivation in the mollisols

Elena Mikhailova

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA


Christopher Post

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA


Larry Cihacek

Soil Science Department, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, USA


Michael Ulmer

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bismark, North Dakota, USA


Soil inorganic carbon stock and its response to land use in grassland ecosystems are poorly understood. A detailed examination of soil organic and inorganic carbon distribution at depth in Mollisols of the U.S. Northern Great Plains and the Russian Chernozem shows that cultivation of these soils decreased soil organic stock and increased soil inorganic carbon stock. The global significance of these results is that one of the most fertile and productive agricultural soils in the world that was initially native grasslands incorporated massive amounts of organic matter into the soil during cultivation. This dramatic event (going from equilibrium native grassland state to being plowed) caused a loss of organic carbon, and our analysis indicates that there may have been a corresponding gain of soil inorganic carbon in fertile calcium rich soils in the temperate grassland ecosystem. Mollisols may be a significant sink of inorganic carbon through pedogenic carbonate formation, which may partially offset carbon loss from soil organic matter decomposition.

Citation: Mikhailova, E., C. Post, L. Cihacek, and M. Ulmer (2009), Soil inorganic carbon sequestration as a result of cultivation in the mollisols, in Carbon Sequestration and Its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 183, edited by B. J. McPherson and E. T. Sundquist, pp. 129–133, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2005GM000313.

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