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Root contributions to long-term storage of soil organic carbon: theories, mechanisms and gaps

Citation

Olupot, G and Daniel, H and Lockwood, P and McHenry, M and McLeod, M, Root contributions to long-term storage of soil organic carbon: theories, mechanisms and gaps, Proceedings of the 19th World Congress of Soil Science, Soil Solutions for a Changing World, 1-6 August 2010, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 112-115. (2010) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Australian Society of Soil Science Incorporated

Abstract

The depth to which plants locate their roots has important but yet poorly understood implications with regard to the profile distribution and dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC). We compared the profile distribution of fine root biomass (FRB) with depth distribution of SOC, based on data recalculated from published literature. Mechanisms through which roots might contribute to long-term storage of SOC were reviewed. There was general agreement across previous studies that over 60% of SOC were in the top 0.3 m of soil, where FRB was concentrated. However, studies in which depth distribution of SOC was simultaneously compared to profile distribution of RB were not readily available, suggesting that this area of research has received limited attention. There is a paucity of empirical evidence to lend support to theorised mechanisms through which roots stabilise SOC. The relationship between profile distribution of roots and depth distribution of SOC must be evaluated on-site for defined landuses. A standardised format for presenting results must be developed and agreed upon to ease interpretation of the results. National Soil Science Societies may have a significant role in this process and this 19th World Congress of Soil Science will be an opportune assembly for dialogue.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:carbon sequestration, climate change, landuse systems, rooting depth, soil aggregate stability
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Management
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
Author:McHenry, M (Dr Melinda McHenry)
ID Code:115170
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-03-08
Last Modified:2017-04-10
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