24 Feb 2022
 | 24 Feb 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SOIL.

Tropical Andosol organic carbon quality and degradability in relation to soil geochemistry as affected by land use

Sastrika Anindita, Peter Finke, and Steven Sleutel

Abstract. Land use is recognized to impact soil geochemistry on the centennial to millennial time scale, with implications for the distribution and stability of soil organic carbon (SOC). Juvenile volcanic soils in tropical areas are subject to much faster pedogenesis, with then also possibly a significant mediation by land use on much shorter centennial or even decadal scale. Very scarce observational evidence exists and so such indirect implications of land use on SOC cycling are largely unknown. We here investigated SOC fractions, substrate specific mineralization (SOC or added plant residue), and net priming of SOC in function of forest or agricultural land use on Indonesian volcanic soils. The content of oxalate-extracted Al and exchangeable Ca correlated well with OC associated with sand–sized aggregates. The concomitant near doubling of the proportion of SOC in sand-sized aggregates compared to forest and likewise contrasts in Al and Ca suggest an enhanced formation of Al- (hydr)oxides and liming promoted aggregation and physical occlusion of OC. This was importantly also consistent with a relatively lesser degradability of SOC in the agricultural sites, though the net priming of SOC and degradability of added 13C-labelled ryegrass was not found to depend on land use. We expected that the formation of amorphous Al after conversion of native forest to agriculture would mainly have promoted mineral-association of SOC compared to under pine forest but found no indications for this. Enhanced weathering but improved small scale aggregation of tropical Andosols caused by conversion to agriculture may thus partially counter the otherwise expectable decline of SOC stocks following cultivation. Such indirect land use effects on the SOC balance appeared relevant for correct interpretation and prediction of the long-term C-balance of (agro)ecosystems with soil subject to intense development, like the here studied tropical Andosols.

Sastrika Anindita et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on soil-2022-13', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sastrika Anindita, 10 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on soil-2022-13', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 Jun 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Sastrika Anindita, 11 Jul 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on soil-2022-13', Anonymous Referee #3, 14 Jun 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Sastrika Anindita, 11 Jul 2022

Sastrika Anindita et al.

Sastrika Anindita et al.


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Short summary
We investigated how land use through its impact on soil geochemistry might indirectly control soil organic carbon (SOC) content in tropical volcanic soils, Indonesia. We analyzed SOC fractions, substrate spesific mineralization, and net priming of SOC. Our results indicate that the enhanced formation of Al-(hydr)oxides and liming promoted aggregation and physical occlusion of OC which is in line with lesser degradability of SOC in agricultural sites.