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Storage of Organic and Inorganic Carbon in Arid-Semihumid Soils: A Case Study of the Rangelands of Northwestern Iran

Raheb, Alireza; Heidari, Ahmad; Mahmoodi, Shahla

doi: 10.1097/SS.0000000000000183
Technical Article

Abstract: The inorganic and organic components of soil carbon (C) constitute the largest C pool in the terrestrial biosphere. Determining changes in soil organic C (SOC) and inorganic C (SIC) under different climates is necessary for assessing C sequestration. The effects of arid, semiarid, and semihumid climates on SOC, SIC, and soil total C (STC) storage in 27 pedons along a soil climosequence were investigated. Results showed that SIC constituted 85%, 65%, and 74% of STC in the arid, semiarid, and semihumid regions, respectively, highlighting the importance of inorganic C in the C cycle. Soil organic C and SIC content and storage showed inverse trends with increasing soil depth. The mean content of STC storage in the semihumid region (113.12 Mg ha−1) was larger than in the semiarid (62.78 Mg ha−1) and arid (37.49 Mg ha−1) regions. The average times needed to store SIC in the semihumid, semiarid, and arid regions were estimated as 15,400, 23,100, and 26,000 years, respectively, suggesting that SIC is stored more rapidly in wetter climates because of more weathering.

Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

Address for correspondence: Ahmad Heidari, Associate Professor, Soil Science Department, Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Tehran, PO Box 4111, Karaj 31587-77871, Iran. E‐mail: aheidari@ut.ac.ir

Financial Disclosures/Conflicts of Interest: None reported.

Received July 13, 2016.

Accepted for publication November 2, 2016.

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