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Accumulation of organic carbon in chernozems (mollisols) under Shelterbelts in Russia and the United States

Yu. G. Chendev, T. J. Sauer, A. N. Gennadiev, L. L. Novykh, A. N. Petin, V. I. Petina, E. A. Zazdravnykh, C. L. Burras
Eurasian soil science 2015 v.48 no.1 pp. 43-53
agricultural soils, shelterbelts, trees, carbon, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, anthropogenic activities, land use, correlation, planting, climate, Mollisols, ecosystem services, soil organic matter, climate change, steppes, biomass, meadows, landscapes, afforestation, South Dakota, Russia
In modern soil science, one of the most important trends is in research, evaluation and analysis of anthropogenic transformation of soils and soil cover of the Earth and its regions. The complex and interdisciplinary nature of the research problem of anthropogenic transformation of soils and their changes over the time are increasingly forcing the conduct of these studies by international research teams to carry out a comparative analysis of the geographical, anthropogenic impacts on soils of remote geographical regions. The objective of this work is to identify and to analyze changes in soil organic matter stocks for meadow-steppe and meadow landscapes within the forest-steppe zone of the Northern Continents (North America and Europe) as a result of contrasting land use in form of agricultural cultivation and the creation of tree windbreaks. Fifty five year-old windbreaks on chernozems in European Russia had an average annual rate of accumulation of carbon stocks in soil organic matter (0-100 cm layer) of 0.76, 1.07, and 1.60 tonnes/ha for Kamennaya Steppe, Streletskaya Steppe, and Yamskaya Steppe, respectively with an average of 1.14 tonnes / ha for all locations. Over the 19-year period of artificial afforestation growth near Huron, South Dakota USA, the average annual rate of carbon accumulation of organic matter in the surface meter of a mollisol was 2.07 tonnes/ha. Soil beneath trees exhibited increased carbon concentrations and depth of organic matter-enriched surface horizons compared to adjacent crop fields. The planting of tree windbreaks in agricultural fields have great potential to sequester carbon in the soil and biomass and also provide additional ecosystem services including local climate modification.