Soil Carbon pp 209-216 | Cite as

Could Soil Acidity Enhance Sequestration of Organic Carbon in Soils?

  • Shinya FunakawaEmail author
  • Kazumichi Fujii
  • Atsunobu Kadono
  • Tetsuhiro Watanabe
  • Takashi Kosaki
Part of the Progress in Soil Science book series (PROSOIL)


On the basis of field and laboratory measurements of the dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine having different soil pH levels, we postulate that soil acidity plays an important role in the accumulation of SOM through two processes. Firstly, the amount of potentially mineralizable C (C 0) in the acid soils of Kalimantan or light-fraction C in the Japanese acid soils often increased drastically. Hence, it seems that high soil acidity can enhance the accumulation of organic materials in surface soils by decreasing the soil microbial activities for SOM decomposition. Secondly, field measurements of C flux in various soils under forest showed that the internal leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from litter layers or surface soils increased under low pH conditions, typically for Humods in Japan and Udults in Kalimantan. This indicates a downward movement of DOC in acid soils that increases the tendency of the subsoils to accumulate SOM as organo-mineral complexes. It is concluded that high soil acidity can enhance the storage level of soil organic materials in the form of readily mineralizable organic materials in the surface soils and by organo-mineral complexes formed in subsoils as a result of accelerated leaching of DOC from the O horizon.


Decomposition Dissolved organic carbon Organic matter Soil acidity 


  1. Craswell ET, Lefroy RDB (2001) The role and function of organic matter in tropical soils. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 61:7–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Do Nascimento NR, Fritsch E, Bueno GT, Bardy M, Grimaldi C, Melfi AJ (2008) Podzolization as a deferralitization process: dynamics and chemistry of ground and surface waters in an Acrisol-Podzol sequence of the upper Amazon Basin. Eur J Soil Sci 59:911–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fujii K, Uemura M, Hayakawa C, Funakawa S, Sukartiningsih KT, Ohta S (2009) Fluxes of dissolved organic carbon in two tropical forest ecosystems of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Geoderma 152:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Funakawa S, Shinjo H, Kadono A, Kosaki T (2010) Factors controlling in situ decomposition rate of soil organic matter under various bioclimatic conditions of Eurasia. Pedologist 53:50–66Google Scholar
  5. Jenkinson DS (1990) The turnover of organic carbon and nitrogen in soil. Philos Trans R Soc B 329:361–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnson CE, Driscoll CT, Siccama TG, Likens GE (2000) Element fluxes and landscape position in a northern hardwood forest watershed ecosystem. Ecosystems 3:159–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kadono A, Funakawa S, Kosaki T (2009) Factors controlling potentially mineralizable and recalcitrant soil organic matter in humid Asia. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 55(2):243–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kalbitz K, Solinger S, Park JH, Michalzik B, Matzner E (2000) Controls on the dynamics of dissolved organic matter in soils: a review. Soil Sci 165:277–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kalbitz K, Schwesig D, Schmerwitz J, Kaiser K, Haumaier L, Glaser B, Ellerbrock R, Leinweber P (2003) Changes in properties of soil-derived dissolved organic matter induced by biodegradation. Soil Biol Biochem 35:1129–1142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kalbitz K, Kaiser K, Bargholz J, Dardenne P (2006) Lignin degradation controls the production of dissolved organic matter in decomposing foliar litter. Eur J Soil Sci 57:504–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kemmitt SJ, Wright D, Goulding KWT, Jones DL (2006) pH regulation of carbon and nitrogen dynamics in two agricultural soils. Soil Biol Biochem 38:898–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kleber M, Schwendenmann L, Veldkamp E, Röbner J, Jahn R (2007) Halloysite versus gibbsite: Silicon cycling as a pedogenetic process in two lowland neotropical rain forest soils of La Selva, Costa Rica. Geoderma 138:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lal R (2004) Carbon sequestration in soils of central Asia. Land Degrad Develop 15:563–572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moore TR (1989) Dynamics of dissolved organic carbon in forested and disturbed catchments, Westland, New Zealand. 1. Maimai. Water Resour Res 25:1321–1330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Moore TR, Jackson RJ (1989) Dynamics of dissolved organic carbon in forested and disturbed catchments, Westland, New Zealand. 2. Larry River. Water Resour Res 25:1331–1339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Parton WJ, Schimel DS, Cole CV, Ojima DS (1987) Analysis of factors controlling soil organic matter levels in Great Plains grasslands. Soil Sci Soc Am J 51:1173–1179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Paul EA, Collins HP (1998) The characteristics of soil organic matter relative to nutrient cycling. In: Lal R, Blum WH, Valentine C, Stewart BA (eds) Methods for assessment of soil degradation. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  18. Qualls RG, Haines BL, Swank WT (1991) Fluxes of dissolved organic nutrients and humic substances in a deciduous forest. Ecology 72:254–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Raich JW, Russell AE, Bedoya-Arrieta R (2007) Lignin and enhanced litter turnover in tree plantations of lowland Costa Rica. For Ecol Manage 239:128–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Saggar S, Parshotam A, Hedley C, Salt G (1999) 14C-labelled glucose turnover in New Zealand soils. Soil Biol Biochem 31:2025–2037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schwendenmann L, Veldkamp E (2005) The role of dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, and dissolved inorganic nitrogen in a tropical wet forest ecosystem. Ecosystems 8:339–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Soil Survey Staff (2006) Keys to soil taxonomy, 10th edn. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. SPSS Inc. (2002) SigmaPlot 8.0 user’s guide. SPSS Inc., Chicago, p 526Google Scholar
  24. Spycher G, Sollins P, Rose S (1983) Carbon and nitrogen in the light fraction of a forest soil: vertical distribution and seasonal patterns. Soil Sci 135:79–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tobón C, Sevink J, Verstraten JM (2004a) Litterflow chemistry and nutrient uptake from the forest floor in northern Amazonian forest ecosytems. Biogeochemistry 69:315–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tobón C, Sevink J, Verstraten JM (2004b) Solute fluxes in throughfall and stemflow in four forest ecosystems in northwest Amazonia. Biogeochemistry 70:1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ugolini FC, Dahlgren RA (1987) The mechanism of podzolization revealed by soil solution studies. In: Righi D, Chauvel A (eds) Podzols and podzolization. Assoc. Franc. Etude Sol. INRA, Plaisir et Paris, pp 195–203Google Scholar
  28. Yavitt JB, Fahey TJ (1986) Litter decay and leaching from the forest floor in Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine). Ecosystems 74:525–545Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinya Funakawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazumichi Fujii
    • 2
  • Atsunobu Kadono
    • 3
  • Tetsuhiro Watanabe
    • 1
  • Takashi Kosaki
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Forestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental StudiesTottori University of Environmental StudiesTottoriJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Urban Environmental SciencesTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachiojiJapan

Personalised recommendations