Spatial distribution characteristics of soil organic carbon in subtropical forests of mountain Lushan, China

  • Fazhan Yu
  • Zhongqi Zhang
  • Longqian ChenEmail author
  • Jinxin Wang
  • Zhengping Shen


The study on the spatial distribution of forest soil organic carbon (SOC) is of great significance for accurate assessment of carbon storage in forest ecosystems. In the present study, by taking eight kinds of forest soils of Mountain Lushan in the subtropical area as the research object, we studied the spatial distribution characteristics of SOC in this mountainous area. The results showed that the SOC content and SOC density (SOCD) of main forest types in the Mountain Lushan were lower than the national and the world average. The soil layer of Lushan forest was thinner, and the SOC and active SOC (ASOC) contents of different forest types and SOCDs are the highest in the surface soil. SOCD of the topsoil accounts for 32.64–54.03% of the total SOCD in the whole soil profile. Surface litter is an important source of SOC, and the different vegetation types are the important reason for the different spatial distribution of SOC in this area. Soil SOC contents in the high-altitude forest (bamboo forest, deciduous broadleaf forest, Pinus taiwanensis forest, evergreen-deciduous forest, and coniferous-broadleaved mixed forest) were higher than those in the low-altitude forest (evergreen broadleaf forest, shrub, and Pinus massoniana forest). However, the difference in SOC content exhibited at the altitude gradient is significantly lower than that in SOC in the soil profile. This indicates that both soil depth and elevation are the important factors that affected SOC distribution. However, the influence of soil depth on spatial distribution of SOC may be more complex than that of altitude. Vegetation types and soil properties are the main reasons for the large differences of reduction rate in the contents of SOC and ASOC.


Soil organic carbon Spatial distribution Vegetation type Mountain Lushan 


Funding information

Support for this research was from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Grant No. 2018ZDPY07).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fazhan Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhongqi Zhang
    • 2
  • Longqian Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jinxin Wang
    • 2
  • Zhengping Shen
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and Spatial InformaticsChina University of Mining and TechnologyXuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Geography, Geomatics and PlanningJiangsu Normal UniversityXuzhouChina

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