Dissolved carbon leaching from soil is a crucial component of the net ecosystem carbon balance

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011

  • Author: Kindler, Reimo

    University College Dublin

  • Author: Siemens, Jan

    Technische Universität Dresden (DE)

  • Author: Kaiser, Klaus

    Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (DE)

  • Author: Walmsley, David C.

    University College Dublin

  • Author: Bernhofer, Christian

    Technische Universität Dresden (DE)

  • Author: Buchmann, Nina

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

  • Author: Cellier, Pierre

    INRA – AgroParisTech – Unité Mixte de Recherche Environnement et Grandes Cultures (FR)

  • Author: Eugster, Werner

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

  • Author: Gleixner, Gerd

    Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (DE)

  • Author: Grünwald, Thomas

    Technische Universität Dresden (DE)

  • Author: Heim, Alexander

    University of Zurich

  • Author: Ibrom, Andreas

    Ecosystems, Biosystems Division, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Frederiksborgvej 399, 4000, Roskilde, Denmark

  • Author: Joness, Stephanie K.

    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (GB)

  • Author: Jones, Mike

    Trinity College Dublin

  • Author: Klumpp, Katja

    Grassland Ecosystem Research (UREP) (FR)

  • Author: Kutsch, Werner

    Johann Heinrich von Thuünen-Institut (DE)

  • Author: Larsen, Klaus Steenberg

    Ecosystems, Biosystems Division, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Lehuger, Simon

    INRA – AgroParisTech – Unité Mixte de Recherche Environnement et Grandes Cultures (FR)

  • Author: Loubet, Benjamin

    INRA – AgroParisTech – Unité Mixte de Recherche Environnement et Grandes Cultures (FR)

  • Author: McKenzie, Rebecca

    University of Manchester

  • Author: Moors, Eddy

    Alterra Wageningen UR (NL)

  • Author: Osborne, Bruce

    University College Dublin

  • Author: Pilegaard, Kim

    Biosystems Division. Management, Biosystems Division, Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Rebmann, Corinna

    Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (DE)

  • Author: Saunders, Matthew

    University College Dublin

  • Author: Schmidt, Michael W.I.

    University of Zurich

  • Author: Schrumpf, Marion

    Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (DE)

  • Author: Seyfferth, Janine

    Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (DE)

  • Author: Skiba, Ute

    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (GB)

  • Author: Soussana, Jean-Francois

    Grassland Ecosystem Research (UREP) (FR)

  • Author: Sutton, Mark QA.

    Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (GB)

  • Author: Tefs, Cindy

    Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (DE)

  • Author: Vowinckel, Bernhard

    Technische Universität Dresden (DE)

  • Author: Zeeman, Matthias J.

    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

  • Author: Kaupenjohann, Martin

    Technische Universität Berlin (DE)

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Estimates of carbon leaching losses from different land use systems are few and their contribution to the net ecosystem carbon balance is uncertain. We investigated leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and dissolved methane (CH4), at forests, grasslands, and croplands across Europe. Biogenic contributions to DIC were estimated by means of its d13C signature. Leaching of biogenic DIC was 8.34.9 gm2 yr1 for forests, 24.17.2 gm2 yr1 for grasslands, and 14.64.8 gm2 yr1 for croplands. DOC leaching equalled 3.51.3 gm2 yr1 for forests, 5.32.0 gm2 yr1 for grasslands, and 4.11.3 gm2 yr1 for croplands. The average flux of total biogenic carbon across land use systems was 19.44.0 gCm2 yr1. Production of DOC in topsoils was positively related to their C/N ratio and DOC retention in subsoils was inversely related to the ratio of organic carbon to iron plus aluminium (hydr)oxides. Partial pressures of CO2 in soil air and soil pH determined DIC concentrations and fluxes, but soil solutions were often supersaturated with DIC relative to soil air CO2. Leaching losses of biogenic carbon (DOC plus biogenic DIC) from grasslands equalled 5–98% (median: 22%) of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) plus carbon inputs with fertilization minus carbon removal with harvest. Carbon leaching increased the net losses from cropland soils by 24–105% (median: 25%). For the majority of forest sites, leaching hardly affected actual net ecosystem carbon balances because of the small solubility of CO2 in acidic forest soil solutions and large NEE. Leaching of CH4 proved to be insignificant compared with other fluxes of carbon. Overall, our results show that leaching losses are particularly important for the carbon balance of agricultural systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Publication date2011
Volume17
Issue2
Pages1167-1185
ISSN1354-1013
DOIs
StatePublished
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 53

Keywords

  • Bio systems, Environment and climate
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