Scientia Agricultura Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (14): 3057-3064.doi: 10.3864/j.issn.0578-1752.2021.14.011


Contribution of Carbon Sources in Sedimentary Soils Combining Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope with Stable Isotope Model

LI Na1,3(),SUN ZhanXiang2(),ZHANG YanQing1,LIU EnKe1,LI FengMing3,LI ChunQian3,LI Fei3   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Dryland Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Beijing 101010
    2Liaoning Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenyang 110161
    3Liaoning Institute of Dry Land Agriculture and Forestry, Chaoyang 122000, Liaoning
  • Received:2020-12-06 Accepted:2021-02-19 Online:2021-07-16 Published:2021-07-26
  • Contact: ZhanXiang SUN;


【Objective】To study the sources of deposited soil organic carbon (SOC) under different land use patterns in a typical small watershed in the brown soil hilly area of western Liaoning through eroded sedimentation, and to provide a scientific reference for the reasonable control of soil carbon loss caused by soil erosion in the small watershed. 【Method】Through field sampling of small watersheds in the hilly and gully area of western Liaoning, the sources of deposited soil carbon in the small watersheds were studied and their contribution was quantified. Using GIS and GPS technology to analyze the surface soil of 4 different land use types (cropland, forest, grassland, gully) in the small watershed and 3 locations of the check dam in the small watershed (S1 in front of the dam, S2 in the middle of the dam, S3 behind the dam) 0-100 cm soil profile was sampled to analyze the carbon source of the sedimentary soil based on a mixed carbon and nitrogen isotope model.【Result】Using13C and15N isotopic characteristics and their elemental composition qualitative and quantitative identification of soil organic carbon in eroded sediments in the hilly and gully area of western Liaoning was carried out. The SOC loss was primarily from cropland, accounting for 58.75%, followed by gully (25.49%), forest (9.2%), and grassland (6.49%). 【Conclusion】 The stable isotope SIAR mixing model, as a reliable "fingerprint" tool, could be successfully employed to estimate the contribution of various C sources within a complex ecosystem, The research results can provide theoretical references for soil protection and nutrient loss control in small watersheds affected by water erosion, and for maintaining the sustainability of the ecosystem.

Key words: soil organic carbon, soil erosion, constructed dam, sediments, stable isotope model

Table 1

Soil physical and chemical properties of different land use types"

Land-use type
Bulk density (g·cm-3)
pH 土壤含水量
Soil water content (%)
土壤质地 Soil texture (%)
黏粒Clay 粉粒 Silt 砂粒 Sand
林地 Forest 1.38±0.21a 7.74b 7.31±0.21ab 17.17bc 34.48c 48.1a
耕地Cropland 1.19±0.12c 7.86b 5.21±0.21a 15.66bc 40.31a 44.03b
草地Gralssland 1.27±0.05ab 8.2a 8.2±0.21ab 18.31b 40.63a 41.06bc
沟渠Gully 1.18±0.15c 8.0a 12.21±0.21c 26.31a 38.56abc 35.13c

Fig. 1

Bulk density and pH of different profiles of sedimentary soil S1: In front of the dam; S2: In the middle of the dam; S3: Behind the dam"

Table 2

Different land use types and sediments of isotopic characteristic values"

Land use type
SOC (g·kg-1)
TN (g·kg-1)
δ13C (‰)
δ15N (‰)
C/N ratio
林地 Forest 16.86±0.06a 2.33±0.06a -24.9±0.25a 1.25±0.06d 7.24bc
耕地Cropland 7.35±0.04b 0.52±0.04c -23.85±0.43b 3.05±0.05ab 14.14a
草地Grassland 6.43±0.09b 0.86±0.09bc -19.2±0.25c 2.63±0.03c 7.48b
沟谷Gully 4.21±0.07c 0.65±0.02c -24.9±0.4a 3.65±0.02a 6.48c
沉积物 Sediments 5.79±0.05abc 0.40±0.09c -25.2±0.3ab 2.92±0.02c 14.48a

Fig. 2

Mean SOC and δ13C for sediments at different depths (0-100 cm) and potential sources for the studied catchment "

Fig. 3

Source and contribution ratio of organic carbon in 0-100 cm soil profile in sedimentary area"

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