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Journal Article

Soil carbon inventories and δ13C along a moisture gradient in Botswana


Lloyd,  J.
Research Group Carbon-Change Atmosphere, Dr. J. Lloyd, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Bird, M. I., Veenendaal, E. M., & Lloyd, J. (2004). Soil carbon inventories and δ13C along a moisture gradient in Botswana. Global Change Biology, 10(3), 342-349.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D155-5
We present a study of soil organic carbon (SOC) inventories and delta(13)C values for 625 soil cores collected from well-drained, coarse-textured soils in eight areas along a 1000 km moisture gradient from Southern Botswana, north into southern Zambia. The spatial distribution of trees and grass in the desert, savannah and woodland ecosystems along the transect control large systematic local variations in both SOC inventories and delta(13)C values. A stratified sampling approach was used to smooth this variability and obtain robust weighted-mean estimates for both parameters. from 7 mg cm(-2) in the driest area (mean annual precipitation, MAP=225 mm) to 41+/-12 mg cm(-2) in the wettest area (MAP=910 mm). For the 0-30 cm interval, the inventories are 37.8 mg cm(-2) for the driest region and 157+/-33 mg cm(-2) for the wettest region. SOC inventories at intermediate sites increase as MAP increases to approximately 400-500 mm, but remain approximately constant thereafter. This plateau may be the result of feedbacks between MAP, fuel load and fire frequency. 0-30 cm depth intervals as MAP increases. A value of -17.5+/-1.0parts per thousand characterizes the driest areas, while a value of -25+/-0.7parts per thousand characterizes the wettest area. The decrease in delta(13)C value with increasing MAP reflects an increasing dominance of C-3 vegetation as MAP increases. SOC in the deeper soil (5-30 cm depth) is, on average, 0.4+/-0.3parts per thousand enriched in C-13 relative to SOC in the 0-5 cm interval. [References: 19]