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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Effect of Climate on Carbon Pools and Carbon Storage in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem

Authors
item Smith, Jeffrey
item Bolton, Harvey, Jr. - BATTELLE PNW LABORATORY

Submitted to: International Symposium on Environmental Biogeochemistry
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Traditionally the effects of global climate change have focused on food production, geographic climate shifts and large effects such as rising sea levels. Recently attention has been given to the potential changes in terrestrial ecosystems due to climate change especially with respect to carbon ( C ) storage. Increasing carbon storage is a potential mitigating strategy for increasing CO2 levels from fossil fuel emissions. However, there is little information as to the effects of climate change on soil processes, C cycling and C storage. We investigated the effects of climate on C fractionation and storage over a 700m elevation transect. The transect parent material, loess, was deposited at the same time, the climate has been stable for the last 3,000 y, and the vegetation is similar. The variables over the transect are mean maximum temperature ranging from 30 degrees C at the lower slope to 24 degrees C at the upper slope, and precipitation ranging from 180 mm at the lower slope to 270 mm at the upper slope. Soil was collected from 4 sites along the transect and fractionated in a humic acid/fulvic acid scheme and a particulate organic matter scheme to determine the size and lability of C pools in relation to different climates. The results will be discussed in relationship to global change and C storage potential.

Last Modified: 7/27/2014
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