Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
Review article
16 Apr 2015
Review article |  | 16 Apr 2015

Global distribution of soil organic carbon – Part 1: Masses and frequency distributions of SOC stocks for the tropics, permafrost regions, wetlands, and the world

M. Köchy, R. Hiederer, and A. Freibauer

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Cited articles

Amundson, R.: The carbon budget in soils, Ann. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci., 29, 535–562,, 2001.
Batjes, N. H.: Total carbon and nitrogen in the soils of the world, Euro. J. Soil Sci., 47, 151–163,, 1996.
Batjes, N. H.: Harmonized soil profile data for applications at global and continental scales: updates to the WISE database, Soil Use Manage., 25, 124–127,, 2009.
Boelter, D. H.: Important physical properties of peat materials, Proceedings of the Third International Peat Congress, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 18–23 August 1968, Canada. Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources and National Research Council of Canada, 1968.
Chambers, F. M., Beilman, D. W., and Yu, Z.: Methods for determining peat humification and for quantifying peat bulk density, organic matter and carbon content for palaeostudies of climate and peatland carbon dynamics, Mires and Peat, 7, 7.1–7.10, 2010/2011.
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Soils contain 1062Pg organic C (SOC) in 0-1m depth based on the adjusted Harmonized World Soil Database. Different estimates of bulk density of Histosols cause an uncertainty in the range of -56/+180Pg. We also report the frequency distribution of SOC stocks by continent, wetland type, and permafrost type. Using additional estimates for frozen and deeper soils, global soils are estimated to contain 1325Pg SOC in 0-1m and ca. 3000Pg, including deeper layers.