Is there an impact of climate change on soil carbon contents in England and Wales?

D. Barraclough, P. Smith, F. Worrall, H. I. J. Black, A. Bhogal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Summary
It is not yet clear how soils are responding to a warming climate. A major study using the National Soil Inventory (NSI) of England and Wales reported large declines in soil carbon concentration across 11 l and uses between 1978 and 2003 and concluded there was a link to climate change. However, a second, almost contemporary study, recorded no significant changes, raising the possibility that the reported declines were caused by changes in land use and management rather than by climate change. We have used ‘space-for-time’ substitution on the data from the initial NSI study, combined with changes in rainfall and temperature over the survey period, to determine the extent to which the declines in soil carbon observed in the second NSI study could be predicted from changes in climate. For organo-mineral and mineral soils, little (0–5%) of the observed decline in carbon concentration can be predicted from changes in climate. In contrast, 9–22% of the changes reported for organic
soils in semi-natural habitats are consistent with changes in temperature and rainfall between the two NSI surveys.
We also found that carbon concentration in organic soils in semi-natural habitats declines as temperatures exceed 7∘ C, mirroring independent observations for the decline in bog and dense shrub moor vegetation as temperatures
rise above 7∘ C, and raising the possibility that climate change may influence soil carbon indirectly by changing vegetation cover, and hence litter quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Volume66
Issue number3
Early online date20 Apr 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Fingerprint

Wales
soil carbon
England
climate change
carbon
soil
climate
rainfall
temperature
habitat
mineral
bog
rain
organic soil
land management
vegetation cover
heathlands
bogs
litter
substitution

Keywords

  • Climate Change
  • Soil Carbon Contents
  • England
  • Wales
  • Land Use
  • Grazing animals
  • Grazing Land

Cite this

Is there an impact of climate change on soil carbon contents in England and Wales? / Barraclough, D.; Smith, P.; Worrall, F.; Black, H. I. J.; Bhogal, A.

In: European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 66, No. 3, 05.2015, p. 451-462.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barraclough, D. ; Smith, P. ; Worrall, F. ; Black, H. I. J. ; Bhogal, A. / Is there an impact of climate change on soil carbon contents in England and Wales?. In: European Journal of Soil Science. 2015 ; Vol. 66, No. 3. pp. 451-462.
@article{c4b05c47a4ff43a9bf5de87239074a15,
title = "Is there an impact of climate change on soil carbon contents in England and Wales?",
abstract = "SummaryIt is not yet clear how soils are responding to a warming climate. A major study using the National Soil Inventory (NSI) of England and Wales reported large declines in soil carbon concentration across 11 l and uses between 1978 and 2003 and concluded there was a link to climate change. However, a second, almost contemporary study, recorded no significant changes, raising the possibility that the reported declines were caused by changes in land use and management rather than by climate change. We have used ‘space-for-time’ substitution on the data from the initial NSI study, combined with changes in rainfall and temperature over the survey period, to determine the extent to which the declines in soil carbon observed in the second NSI study could be predicted from changes in climate. For organo-mineral and mineral soils, little (0–5{\%}) of the observed decline in carbon concentration can be predicted from changes in climate. In contrast, 9–22{\%} of the changes reported for organicsoils in semi-natural habitats are consistent with changes in temperature and rainfall between the two NSI surveys.We also found that carbon concentration in organic soils in semi-natural habitats declines as temperatures exceed 7∘ C, mirroring independent observations for the decline in bog and dense shrub moor vegetation as temperaturesrise above 7∘ C, and raising the possibility that climate change may influence soil carbon indirectly by changing vegetation cover, and hence litter quality.",
keywords = "Climate Change, Soil Carbon Contents, England, Wales, Land Use, Grazing animals, Grazing Land",
author = "D. Barraclough and P. Smith and F. Worrall and Black, {H. I. J.} and A. Bhogal",
note = "Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to Pat Bellamy and Guy Kirk for the original data from the NSI study, to John Archer for the data from the ‘representative soil sampling scheme’, and to two anonymous referees and the Associate Editor for their constructive comments. This study was partly supported through Defra project SP0567.",
year = "2015",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1111/ejss.12253",
language = "English",
volume = "66",
pages = "451--462",
journal = "European Journal of Soil Science",
issn = "1351-0754",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is there an impact of climate change on soil carbon contents in England and Wales?

AU - Barraclough, D.

AU - Smith, P.

AU - Worrall, F.

AU - Black, H. I. J.

AU - Bhogal, A.

N1 - Acknowledgements The authors are grateful to Pat Bellamy and Guy Kirk for the original data from the NSI study, to John Archer for the data from the ‘representative soil sampling scheme’, and to two anonymous referees and the Associate Editor for their constructive comments. This study was partly supported through Defra project SP0567.

PY - 2015/5

Y1 - 2015/5

N2 - SummaryIt is not yet clear how soils are responding to a warming climate. A major study using the National Soil Inventory (NSI) of England and Wales reported large declines in soil carbon concentration across 11 l and uses between 1978 and 2003 and concluded there was a link to climate change. However, a second, almost contemporary study, recorded no significant changes, raising the possibility that the reported declines were caused by changes in land use and management rather than by climate change. We have used ‘space-for-time’ substitution on the data from the initial NSI study, combined with changes in rainfall and temperature over the survey period, to determine the extent to which the declines in soil carbon observed in the second NSI study could be predicted from changes in climate. For organo-mineral and mineral soils, little (0–5%) of the observed decline in carbon concentration can be predicted from changes in climate. In contrast, 9–22% of the changes reported for organicsoils in semi-natural habitats are consistent with changes in temperature and rainfall between the two NSI surveys.We also found that carbon concentration in organic soils in semi-natural habitats declines as temperatures exceed 7∘ C, mirroring independent observations for the decline in bog and dense shrub moor vegetation as temperaturesrise above 7∘ C, and raising the possibility that climate change may influence soil carbon indirectly by changing vegetation cover, and hence litter quality.

AB - SummaryIt is not yet clear how soils are responding to a warming climate. A major study using the National Soil Inventory (NSI) of England and Wales reported large declines in soil carbon concentration across 11 l and uses between 1978 and 2003 and concluded there was a link to climate change. However, a second, almost contemporary study, recorded no significant changes, raising the possibility that the reported declines were caused by changes in land use and management rather than by climate change. We have used ‘space-for-time’ substitution on the data from the initial NSI study, combined with changes in rainfall and temperature over the survey period, to determine the extent to which the declines in soil carbon observed in the second NSI study could be predicted from changes in climate. For organo-mineral and mineral soils, little (0–5%) of the observed decline in carbon concentration can be predicted from changes in climate. In contrast, 9–22% of the changes reported for organicsoils in semi-natural habitats are consistent with changes in temperature and rainfall between the two NSI surveys.We also found that carbon concentration in organic soils in semi-natural habitats declines as temperatures exceed 7∘ C, mirroring independent observations for the decline in bog and dense shrub moor vegetation as temperaturesrise above 7∘ C, and raising the possibility that climate change may influence soil carbon indirectly by changing vegetation cover, and hence litter quality.

KW - Climate Change

KW - Soil Carbon Contents

KW - England

KW - Wales

KW - Land Use

KW - Grazing animals

KW - Grazing Land

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84929683215&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/ejss.12253

DO - 10.1111/ejss.12253

M3 - Article

VL - 66

SP - 451

EP - 462

JO - European Journal of Soil Science

JF - European Journal of Soil Science

SN - 1351-0754

IS - 3

ER -