Article

Monitoring Spatio-Temporal Changes of Soil Carbon in Java Using Legacy Soil Data

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  • The National Research and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Indonesia
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Abstract

Legacy soil data is an important data source for digital soil mapping. While it is mostly used to provide the information on spatial distribution of soil, it also allows detecting temporal changes in soil properties. This work attempts to map the spatio-temporal changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) in the island of Java, Indonesia, using legacy soil data. We used 2002 soil profile data containing organic C analysis in the topsoil, which were collected by the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Land Resources Research & Development (ICALRD) from 1923-2007. Results show the obvious decline of SOC values from around 2 % in 1930-1940 to 0.7% in 1960-1970. However, there is an increase of SOC content after 1970, with a median level of 1.1% in the 2000. We aggregated the data into spatial administrative entities (kabupaten) and mapped the changes in every 10 years. Spatial analysis shows the trend of SOC over the island. Our analysis suggests that the human influence and agricultural practices on SOC in Java have been a stronger influence than the environmental factors. SOC for the top 10 cm has a nett accumulation rate of 20-30 g C m -2 year -1 (or 0.2 – 0.3 Mg C/ha/year) during the period 1990-2000. These findings raise optimism for increased soil carbon sequestration in Indonesia.

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Globally, tropical deforestation is often followed by the establishment of fire-prone grassland. In Southeast Asia, Imperata cylindrica grassland is the dominant land cover after deforestation. No quantitative data are available on the changes in soil carbon (C) stock upon such land conversion. We aimed to elucidate changes in soil C stock after deforestation followed by the occurrence and persistence of I. cylindrica grassland in the Asian humid tropics. We compared soil C stock between primary forests (n = 20) and grasslands (n = 14) with a wide range of soil textures in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). We also assessed the temporal change in soil C stock in the grassland sites between 1992 and 2004 by comparing identical soil pits (n = 7). Soil C stock (0–100cm deep) increased by 23% following transition from primary forest to grassland during about 10years. Over 12years at the grassland sites, however, soil C stock did not change in the 0–100cm depth, but we observed increased blackness of soil, especially coarse-textured soils. The increase in C stock following the transition was largely attributed to the organic matter supply by grass roots, rhizomes, and charred materials from wildfires to the subsurface soils and subsoils (5–100cm). The unchanged soil C stock (0–100cm) over 12years at the grassland sites suggests that the soil C stock level there has nearly reached a new equilibrium state. However, the increased blackness of the soil suggests changes in the quality of soil organic matter by higher subsoil root input and deeper bioturbation by earthworms. KeywordsSoil carbon stock-Tropical deforestation- Imperata cylindrica grassland-Land use change-Southeast Asia-A/R CDM
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Legacy soil data form an important resource for digital soil mapping and are essential for calibration of models for predicting soil properties from environmental variables. Such data arise from traditional soil survey. Methods of soil survey are generally empirical and based on the mental development of the surveyor, correlating soil with underlying geology, landforms, vegetation and air-photo interpretation. There are no statistical criteria for traditional soil sampling, and this may lead to biases in the areas being sampled. The challenge is to test the use of legacy data for large-area mapping (e.g. national or continental extents) in order to limit the funds of field survey for large-area mapping. The problem is then to assess the reliability and quality of the legacy soil databases that have been mainly populated by traditional soil survey, and if there is a possibility of additional funding for sampling, to determine where new sampling units should be located. This additional sampling can be used to improve and validate the prediction model.
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The Canadian prairie, which accounts for about 80% of Canada's farmland, has large reserves of soil organic carbon (SOC). Changes in the size of the SOC pool have implications for soil productivity and for atmospheric concentrations of CO2, an important `greenhouse gas'. We reviewed recent findings from long-term research sites to determine the impact of cropping practices on SOC reserves in the region. From this overview, we suggest that: (1) the loss of SOC upon conversion of soils to arable agriculture has abated; (2) significant gains in SOC (typically about 3 Mg C ha−1 or less within a decade) can be achieved in some soils by adoption of improved practices, like intensification of cropping systems, reduction in tillage intensity, improved crop nutrition, organic amendments, and reversion to perennial vegetation; (3) changes in SOC occur predominantly in `young' or labile fractions; (4) the change in SOC, either gain or loss, is of finite duration and magnitude; (5) estimates of SOC change from individual studies are subject to limitations and are best viewed as part of a multi-site network; and (6) the energy inputs into agroecosystems need to be included in the calculation of the net C balance. The long-term sites indicate that Canadian prairie soils can be a net sink for CO2, though perhaps only in the short term. These sites need to be maintained to measure the effects of continued agronomic evolution and predicted global changes.
Article
Nine soil organic models were evaluated using twelve datasets from seven long-term experiments. Datasets represented three different land-uses (grassland, arable cropping and woodland) and a range of climatic conditions within the temperate region. Different treatments (inorganic fertilizer, organic manures and different rotations) at the same site allowed the effects of differing land management to be explored. Model simulations were evaluated against the measured data and the performance of the models was compared both qualitatively and quantitatively. Not all models were able to simulate all datasets; only four attempted all. No one model performed better than all others across all datasets. The performance of each model in simulating each dataset is discussed. A comparison of the overall performance of models across all datasets reveals that the model errors of one group of models (RothC, CANDY, DNDC, CENTURY, DAISY and NCSOIL) did not differ significantly from each other. Another group (SOMM, ITE and Verberne) did not differ significantly from each other but showed significantly larger model errors than did models in the first group. Possible reasons for differences in model performance are discussed in detail.
Article
Given the relative dearth of, and the huge demand for, quantitative spatial soil information, it is timely to develop and implement methodologies for its provision. We suggest that digital soil mapping, which can be defined as the creation, and population of spatial soil information systems (SSINFOS) by the use of field and laboratory observational methods, coupled with spatial and non-spatial soil inference systems, is the appropriate response. Problems of large extents and soil-cover complexity and coarse resolutions and short-range variability representation carry over from conventional soil survey to digital soil mapping. Meeting users’ requests and demands and the ability to deal with spatially variable and temporally evolving datasets must be the key features of any new approach.In this chapter, we present a generic framework that recognises the procedures required. Within quantitatively defined physiographic regions, SSINFOS must be populated and spatial soil inference systems (SSINFERS) must be developed. When combined this will allow users to derive the data they require. Further work is required on the development of these systems, and on the data requirements, the optimal forms of inference and the appropriate representation of the products of digital soil mapping.
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Cited By (since 1996): 83, Export Date: 4 December 2011, Source: Scopus
Article
Carbon sequestration by agricultural soils has been widely promoted as a means of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. In many regions agricultural fields are just one component of a complex landscape matrix and understanding the interactions between agricultural fields and other landscape components such as wetlands is crucial for comprehensive, whole-landscape accounting of soil organic carbon (SOC) change. Our objective was to assess the effects of management and erosional history on SOC storage in wetlands of a typical hummocky agricultural landscape in southern Saskatchewan. Wetlands were classed into three land management groups: native wetlands (i.e., within a native landscape), and uncultivated and cultivated wetlands within an agricultural landscape. Detailed topographic surveys were used to develop a digital elevation model of the sites and landform segmentation algorithms were used to delineate the topographic data into landform elements. SOC density to 45 cm was assessed at seven uncultivated wetlands, seven cultivated wetlands, and twelve native wetlands. Mean SOC density decreased from 175.1 mg ha¿ 1 to 30 cm (equivalent mass depth) for the native wetlands to 168.6 mg ha¿ 1 for the uncultivated wetlands and 87.2 mg ha¿ 1 for the cultivated wetlands in the agricultural field. The SOC density of sediment depositional fans in the uncultivated wetlands is high but the total SOC stored in the fans is low due to their small area. The uncultivated wetlands occupy only 11% of the site but account for approximately 23% of SOC stores. Re-establishing permanent vegetation in the cultivated wetlands could provide maximum C sequestration with minimum energy inputs and a minimum loss of productive acreage but the overall consequences for the gas emissions would have to be carefully assessed.
Article
Recent modeling studies indicate that soil erosion and terrestrial sedimentation may establish ecosystem disequilibria that promote carbon (C) sequestration within the biosphere. Movement of upland eroded soil into wetland systems with high net primary productivity may represent the greatest increase in storage capacity potential for C sequestration. The capacity of wetland systems to capture sediments and build up areas of deposition has been documented as well as the ability of these ecosystems to store substantial amounts of C. The purpose of our work was to assess rates of sediment deposition and C storage in a wetland site adjacent to a small first-order stream that drains an agricultural area. The soils of the wetland site consist of a histosol buried by sediments from the agricultural area. Samples of deposited sediments in the riparian zone were collected in 5 cm increments and the concentration of 137Cs was used to determine the 1964 and 1954 deposition layers. Agricultural activity in the watershed has caused increased sediment deposition to the wetland. The recent upland sediment is highly enriched in organic matter indicating that large amounts of organic C have been sequestered within this zone of sediment deposition. Rates of sequestration are much higher than rates that have occurred over the pre-modern history of the wetland. These data indicate the increased sedimentation rates in the wetland ecosystem are associated with increased C sequestration rates.
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