Dynamics of pedogenic carbonate in the cropland of the North China Plain: Influences of intensive cropping and salinization

Tongping Lu, Xiujun Wang*, Minggang Xu, Zhitong Yu, Yongming Luo, Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

There is evidence of higher levels of pedogenic carbonate (PIC) than soil organic carbon (SOC) in cropland, and a positive relationship between PIC and SOC in salt-affected soils of arid and semi-arid regions. This study is designed to test the hypothesis that PIC is influenced by intensive cropping and salinization in semi-humid regions, in which soil carbonate (SIC) often exceeds SOC. We select a typical cropland with a maize-wheat rotation in the North China Plain, which covers two distinct regions, i.e. the Hebei Plain (HBP) under intensive cropping and the Yellow River Delta (YRD) under soil salinization. Our data show large variations in soil carbon stocks, with slightly higher values for PIC (3.9–14.5 kg C m−2) relative to those of SOC (2.2–9.2 kg C m−2) in the top 1 m. On average, SOC stock is 5.65 kg C m−2 in the YRD, which is slightly lower than in the HBP (6.21 kg C m−2); SIC is significantly higher in the YRD (16.9 kg C m−2) relative to the HBP (13.7 kg C m−2). However, PIC stock is smaller in the YRD (8.67 kg C m−2) relative to the HBP (9.41 kg C m−2). Despite no clear SIC-SOC relationship, there exists a significant positive correlation (P <  0.01) between PIC and SOC stocks in the study area. The PIC:SOC ratio is generally greater than one over a 0–100 cm layer in the majority of croplands in the north China, with larger ratios in the salt-affected soils. Our analyses suggest that the formation and storage of PIC are regulated by levels of SOC and Ca2+/Mg2+ in soil profiles, and there is large potential for enhancing carbon sequestration as carbonate under intensive cropping through sound management in the cropland of arid, semi-arid and semi-humid regions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106820
JournalAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment
Volume292
Early online date10 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

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Keywords

  • pedogenic carbonate
  • soil organic carbon
  • cropland
  • salts
  • North China Plain
  • carbon isotope
  • Cropland
  • Salts
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Carbon isotope
  • Pedogenic carbonate
  • MATTER
  • FERTILIZATION
  • STABLE ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION
  • BACTERIAL
  • SEQUESTRATION
  • YELLOW-RIVER DELTA
  • SOIL ORGANIC-CARBON
  • LAND-USE
  • ACCUMULATION
  • INORGANIC CARBON

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Ecology

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