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Issue 7, 2011
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Soil carbon storage as influenced by tree cover in the Dehesa cork oak silvopasture of central-western Spain

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Abstract

The extent of carbon (C) stored in soils depends on a number of factors including soil characteristics, climatic and other environmental conditions, and management practices. Such information, however, is lacking for silvopastoral systems in Spain. This study quantified the amounts of soil C stored at various depths (0–25, 25–50, 50–75, and 75–100 cm) under a Dehesa cork oak (Quercus suber L.) silvopasture at varying distances (2, 5, and 15 m) to trees. Soil C in the whole soil and three soil fractions (<53, 53–250, and 250–2000 μm) was determined. Results showed soil depth to be a significant factor in soil C stocks in all soil particle sizes. Distance to tree was a significant factor determining soil C stocks in the whole soil and the 250–2000 μm soil fraction. To 1 m depth, mean total C storage at 2, 5, and 15 m from cork oak was 50.2, 37, and 26.5 Mg ha−1, respectively. Taking into account proportions of land surface area containing these C stocks at varying distances to trees to 1 m depth, with a tree density of 35 stems ha−1, estimated landscape soil C is 29.9 Mg ha−1. Greater soil C stocks directly underneath the tree canopy suggest that maintaining or increasing tree cover, where lost from disease or management, may increase long term storage of soil C in Mediterranean silvopastoral systems. The results also demonstrate the use of soil aggregate characteristics as better indicators of soil C sequestration potential and thus a tool for environmental monitoring.

Graphical abstract: Soil carbon storage as influenced by tree cover in the Dehesa cork oak silvopasture of central-western Spain

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Jan 2011, accepted on 03 May 2011 and first published on 06 Jun 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10059A
Citation: J. Environ. Monit., 2011,13, 1897-1904
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    Soil carbon storage as influenced by tree cover in the Dehesa cork oak silvopasture of central-western Spain

    D. S. Howlett, G. Moreno, M. R. Mosquera Losada, P. K. R. Nair and V. D. Nair, J. Environ. Monit., 2011, 13, 1897
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EM10059A

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