Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2021-115
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2021-115

  12 Oct 2021

12 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SOIL.

Dynamics of carbon loss from an arenosol by a forest/vineyard land use change on a centennial scale

Solène Quéro1, Christine Hatté2, Sophie Cornu1, Adrien Duvivier1, Nithavong Cam1, Floriane Jamoteau1,3, Daniel Borschneck1, and Isabelle Basile-Doelsch1 Solène Quéro et al.
  • 1Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, IRD, INRAE, CEREGE, Aix-en-Provence, France
  • 2Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR 8212 CEACNRSUVSQ, Université Paris -Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 3CIRAD, Internal Research Unit (UPR) Recycling and Risk, Station de La Bretagne, Réunion, France

Abstract. Few studies have focused on arenosols with regard to soil carbon dynamics despite the fact that they represent 8 % of the world's soils and are present in key areas where food security is a major issue (e.g. in Sahelian regions). As for other soil types, land use changes (from forest or grassland to cropland) lead to a loss of substantial soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and have a lasting impact on the SOC turnover. Here we quantified long-term variations in carbon stocks and their dynamics in a 80 cm deep Mediterranean Arenosol that had undergone a land use change from forest to vineyard over more than 100 years ago. Paired-sites of adjacent plots combined with carbon and nitrogen quantification and natural radiocarbon (14C) abundance analyses revealed a stock of 50 GtC ha−1 in the 0–30 cm forest soil horizon, which was reduced to 3 GtC ha−1 after long-term grape cultivation. TOC in vineyard was dramatically low, with around 1 gC kg−1 and no vertical gradient as a function of depth. 14C showed that deep ploughing (50 cm) in vineyard plot redistributed the remaining carbon both vertically and horizontally. This remaining carbon was old carbon (compared to that of the forest), which had a C : N ratio characteristic of microbial OM and was probably stabilized within organomineral associations. Despite the drastic degradation of the OM pool in this Arenosol, this soil would have a high carbon storage potential if agricultural practices, such as grassing or organic amendment applications, were to be implemented within the framework of the 4 per 1000 Initiative.

Solène Quéro et al.

Status: open (until 27 Nov 2021)

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Solène Quéro et al.

Solène Quéro et al.

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Short summary
Although present in food security key areas, Arenosols carbon stocks are barely studied. A 150 years old land-use change in a mediterranean Arenosol showed a loss from 50 GtC ha−1 to 3 GtC ha−1 after grape cultivation. 14C showed that deep ploughing in vineyard plot redistributed the remaining microbial carbon both vertically and horizontally. Despite the drastic degradation of the organic matter pool, Arenosols would have a high carbon storage potential targeting the 4 per 1000 Initiative.