Carbon Budget

As an important component of global change, plant invasion threaten the sustainability of global ecosystems and may alter the carbon dynamics in the invaded area. Knowledge of the effects of Spartina alterniflora invasion on soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil inorganic carbon (SIC) stocks and their profile distribution is limited in coastal salt marshes, which are referred as important “blue carbon” ecosystems. A short-term invasion chronosequence of 2–10 years was used to evaluate the responses of SOC and SIC over the invasion period in the Yellow River Estuary, China.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) in croplands is a key property of soil quality for ensuring food security and agricultural sustainability, and also plays a central role in the global carbon (C) budget. When managed sustainably, soils may play a critical role in mitigating climate change by sequestering C and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. However, the magnitude and spatio-temporal patterns of global cropland SOC are far from well constrained due to high land surface heterogeneity, complicated mechanisms, and multiple influencing factors.
This study assessed the carbon (C) budget and the C stocks in major compartments of the soil food web (bacteria, fungi, protists, nematodes, meso- and macrofauna) in an arable field with/without litter addition. The C stocks in the food web were more than three times higher in topsoil (0–10 cm) compared to subsoil (>40 cm). Microorganisms contained over 95% of food web C, with similar contributions of bacteria and fungi in topsoil. Litter addition did not alter C pools of soil biota after one growing season, except for the increase of fungi and fungal feeding nematodes in the topsoil.