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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2016, Vol. 15 Issue (11): 2627-2638    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61239-4
Soil & Fertilization﹒Irrigation﹒Plant Nutrition﹒ Agro-Ecology & Environment Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Spatio-temporal variations in organic carbon density and carbon sequestration potential in the topsoil of Hebei Province, China
CAO Xiang-hui1, LONG Huai-yu1, LEI Qiu-liang1, LIU Jian2, ZHANG Ji-zong1, ZHANG Wen-ju1, WU Shu-xia1
1 Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
2 Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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Abstract      Reliable prediction of soil organic carbon (SOC) density and carbon sequestration potential (CSP) plays an important role in the atmospheric carbon dioxide budget. This study evaluated temporal and spatial variation of topsoil SOC density and CSP of 21 soil groups across Hebei Province, China, using data collected during the second national soil survey in the 1980s and during the recent soil inventory in 2010. The CSP can be estimated by the method that the saturated SOC content subtracts the actual SOC associated with clay and silt. Overall, the SOC density and CSP of most soil groups increased from the 1980s to 2010 and varied between different soil groups. Among all soil groups, Haplic phaeozems had the highest SOC density and Endogleyic solonchaks had the largest CSP. Areas of soil groups with the highest SOC density (90 to 120 t C ha–1) and carbon sequestration (120 to 160 t C ha–1carbon sequestration, SOC density, spatial variation, topsoil
) also increased over time. With regard to spatial distribution, the north of the province had higher SOC density but lower CSP than the south. With respect to land-use type, cultivated soils had lower SOC density but higher CSP than uncultivated soils. In addition, SOC density and CSP were influenced by soil physicochemical properties, climate and terrain and were most strongly correlated with soil humic acid concentration. The results suggest that soil groups (uncultivated soils) of higher SOC density have greater risk of carbon dioxide emission and that management should be aimed at maximizing carbon sequestration in soil groups (cultivated soils) with greater CSP. Furthermore, soils should be managed according to their spatial distributions of SOC density and carbon sequestration potential under different soil groups.
Keywords:  carbon sequestration        SOC density        spatial variation        topsoil  
Received: 20 August 2015   Accepted: 04 November 2016

We acknowledge the Basic Work of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, China (2014FY110200A07).

Corresponding Authors:  LEI Qiu-liang, Tel: +86-10-82108704, E-mail:   
About author:  CAO Xiang-hui, Mobile: +86-18801352813, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

CAO Xiang-hui, LONG Huai-yu, LEI Qiu-liang, LIU Jian, ZHANG Ji-zong, ZHANG Wen-ju, WU Shu-xia. 2016. Spatio-temporal variations in organic carbon density and carbon sequestration potential in the topsoil of Hebei Province, China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 15(11): 2627-2638.

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