Canadian Forest Service Publications

Mineralization potential and temperature sensitivity of soil organic carbon under different land uses in the parkland region of Alberta, Canada. 2012. Arevalo, C.B.M.; Chang, S.X.; Bhatti, J.S.; Sidders, D. Soil Science Society of America Journal 76(1):241-251.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 33323

Language: English

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Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 11.0126/sssaj2011.0126

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The temperature sensitivity of soil organic C contained in different particlesize fractions is important in the context of global climate change but to date has been poorly studied. We compared the effects of temperature (7, 14, and 21°C) on C mineralization rates in fractionated soils from four land use systems [agriculture, AG; plantation; grassland, GRA; and native aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) stand, NAT] in the parkland region of Alberta, Canada, over a 370-d laboratory incubation. Carbon was largely held in the fi ne (<53 μm) fraction (59%), followed by the medium (53–250 μm, 31%) and coarse (250–2000 μm, 10%) fractions. Across land uses and incubation temperatures, the amount of C mineralized from bulk soil over 370 d ranged between 2 and 9% of initial total organic carbon (Ci), with mineralization rates based on per unit of Ci ranging from 0.4 to 5.8 × 10–4 mg C mg–1 Ci d–1 and mean residence times (MRTs) ranging from 15 to 65 yr. Of the total amount of C mineralized, 77, 14, and 9% came from the coarse, medium, and fi ne fractions, respectively. The temperature sensitivity (Q10) of organic C under NAT increased with decreasing particle size, while plantation- and GRA-derived soil organic C showed signifi cantly greater Q10 in the medium and fine fractions only. We conclude that the mineralization potential and temperature sensitivity of soil organic C in the studied land use systems were controlled mainly by oanic matter quality and physical protection provided through aggregation and adsorption.