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Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 339–348 | Cite as

Effect of reclamation on soil organic carbon pools in coastal areas of eastern China

  • Jianguo Li
  • Wenhui Yang
  • Qiang Li
  • Lijie Pu
  • Yan Xu
  • Zhongqi Zhang
  • Lili Liu
Research Article
  • 21 Downloads

Abstract

The coastal wetlands of eastern China form one of the most important carbon sinks in the world. However, reclamation can significantly alter the soil carbon pool dynamics in these areas. In this study, a chronosequence was constructed for four reclamation zones in Rudong County, Jiangsu Province, eastern China (reclaimed in 1951, 1974, 1982, and 2007) and a reference salt marsh to identify both the process of soil organic carbon (SOC) evolution, as well as the effect of cropping and soil properties on SOC with time after reclamation. The results show that whereas soil nutrient elements and SOC increased after reclamation, the electrical conductivity of the saturated soil extract (ECe), pH, and bulk density decreased within 62 years following reclamation and agricultural amendment. In general, the soil’s chemical properties remarkably improved and SOC increased significantly for approximately 30 years after reclamation. Reclamation for agriculture (rice and cotton) significantly increased the soil organic carbon density (SOCD) in the top 60 cm, especially in the top 0–30 cm. However, whereas the highest concentration of SOCD in rice-growing areas was in the top 0–20 cm of the soil profile, it was greater at a 20–60 cm depth in cottongrowing areas. Reclamation also significantly increased heavy fraction organic carbon (HFOC) levels in the 0–30 cm layer, thereby enhancing the stability of the soil carbon pool. SOC can thus increase significantly over a long time period after coastal reclamation, especially in areas of cultivation, where coastal SOC pools in eastern China tend to be more stable.

Keywords

soil organic carbon (SOC) reclamation time land use coastal wetlands heavy fraction organic carbon (HFOC) light fraction organic carbon (LFOC) 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

We appreciate the helpful comments provided by two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41701371, 41230751, and 41201213), The Ministry of Education of Humanities and Social Science project (No. 17YJCZH085), University Science Research Project of Jiangsu Province (No.17KJB170006), The Jiangsu Normal University Foundation (15XLR017), the Jiangsu Students’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training Program (No. 201610320043Z), research and innovation plan of postgraduate research in Jiangsu Province (KYCX17_1686), and a project funded by the Priority Academic Development Program of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianguo Li
    • 1
  • Wenhui Yang
    • 1
  • Qiang Li
    • 1
  • Lijie Pu
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yan Xu
    • 2
  • Zhongqi Zhang
    • 1
  • Lili Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography, Geomatics and PlanningJiangsu Normal UniversityXuzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Exploitation and ProtectionMinistry of Land and ResourcesNanjingChina

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