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An open-source database for the synthesis of soil radiocarbon data: International Soil Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD) version 1.0

MPS-Authors
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Beem-Miller,  Jeffrey
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Hoyt,  Alison M.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Sierra,  Carlos A.
Quantitative Ecosystem Ecology, Dr. C. Sierra, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Stoner,  Shane
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Trumbore,  Susan E.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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von Fromm,  Sophie F.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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BGC3073s1.pdf
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Citation

Lawrence, C. R., Beem-Miller, J., Hoyt, A. M., Monroe, G., Sierra, C. A., Stoner, S., et al. (2020). An open-source database for the synthesis of soil radiocarbon data: International Soil Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD) version 1.0. Earth System Science Data, 12(1), 61-76. doi:10.5194/essd-12-61-2020.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-92E5-5
Abstract
Radiocarbon is a critical constraint on our estimates of the timescales of soil carbon
cycling that can aid in identifying mechanisms of carbon stabilization and destabilization, and
improve forecast of soil carbon response to management or environmental change. Despite the
wealth of soil radiocarbon data that has been reported over the past 75 years, the ability to apply
these data to global scale questions is limited by our capacity to synthesis and compare
measurements generated using a variety of methods. Here we describe the International Soil
Radiocarbon Database (ISRaD, soilradiocarbon.org), an open-source archive of soils data that
include data from bulk soils, or “whole-soils”; distinct soil carbon pools isolated in the laboratory
by a variety of soil fractionation methods; samples of soil gas or water collected interstitially from
within an intact soil profile; CO2 gas isolated from laboratory soil incubations; and fluxes collected
in situ from a soil surface. The core of ISRaD is a relational database structured around individual
datasets (entries) and organized hierarchically to report soil radiocarbon data, measured at different
physical and temporal scales, as well as other soil or environmental properties that may also be
measured at one or more levels of the hierarchy that may assist with interpretation and context.
Anyone may contribute their own data to the database by entering it into the ISRaD template and
subjecting it to quality assurance protocols. ISRaD can be accessed through: (1) a web-based
interface, (2) an R package (ISRaD), or (3) direct access to code and data through the GitHub
repository, which hosts both code and data. The design of ISRaD allows for participants to become
directly involved in the management, design, and application of ISRaD data. The synthesized
dataset is available in two forms: the original data as reported by the authors of the datasets; and
an enhanced dataset that includes ancillary geospatial data calculated within the ISRaD framework.
ISRaD also provides data management tools in the ISRaD-R package that provide a starting point
for data analysis. This community-based dataset and platform for soil radiocarbon and a wide array
of additional soils data information in soils where data are easy to contribute and the community
is invited to add tools and ideas for improvement. As a whole, ISRaD provides resources that can
aid our evaluation of soil dynamics and improve our understanding of controls on soil carbon dynamics across a range of spatial and temporal scales.