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Simulation on the Future Change of Soil Organic Carbon from Phaeozems under Different Management Practices in Northeast China

Zhang, Maoxin, Zhang, Jing, Liu, Mingguo, Guo, Liping, Ma, Fawang, Xie, Liyong, Xu, Minggang, Yun, Anping
Sustainability 2017 v.9 no.7
Phaeozems, agricultural soils, carbon sinks, climate, fertilizer application, fertilizers, food security, greenhouse gas emissions, highlands, manure amendments, no-tillage, simulation models, soil fertility, soil organic carbon, straw, topsoil, China
The Phaeozem region is an important grain production base in China and soil fertility has declined under long-term cultivation. Studying soil organic carbon (SOC) change in the upland phaeozem of Northeast China under different tillage modes has great theoretical and practical significance for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, increasing soil carbon stocks, and ensuring food security. This study applied the DAYCENT model to simulate six long-term experimental sites in the phaeozem region, and through calibration and validation analysis, it concluded that the DAYCENT model could effectively simulate the dynamic change of SOC in the upland phaeozems; hence, the relevant parameters of each site were determined. Under future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5, RCP 4.5), SOC change in agricultural soils (0–20 cm topsoil) of four different management scenarios (fertilizer application, manure amendment, straw return, no-tillage) was simulated. The overall simulated trend was no-tillage > straw return > manure amendment > fertilizer application. Fertilizer had no evident effect on increasing SOC, but the effect would be better if combined with manure; both straw return and no-tillage had the general effect of improving SOC and the simulated values rose rapidly with a large increasing rate within a short period; however, the increasing rate became gentle after 2050, reached a relatively stable level after 2080, then gradually reached carbon saturation. Untill 2100, the SOC content of each site reached a relatively higher level by adopting the no-tillage treatment, where the SOC contents of Harbin, Hailun, Nehe, Dehui, Gongzhuling and Lishu were 2.36 g/100 g, 2.81 g/100 g, 2.22 g/100 g, 2.38 g/100 g, 1.97 g/100 g and 2.01 g/100 g, respectively. The SOC contents increased by 52.47% when compared with the initial value, and the simulated average annual increase of SOC for 84 years was 0.0082 g/100 g.