Carbon turnover in forest and grassland soils – will global warming turn carbon sinks into sources?
Project Leader: Dr Geoff Abbott
Forest Research (Mike Perks, Elena Languelova), Purdue University USA (Tim Filley)
Soil organic matter contains about twice as much carbon as the biosphere. The temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter to global warming is a major uncertainty in the modelling of future greenhouse gas concentrations. Refractory or stable carbon in both forest and grassland soils provides a vehicle for transporting carbon down into the sedimentary column and thus acts as a sink. However it has come to light recently that the increase in temperature at the earth’s surface is causing an increase in the rate of decomposition of carbon therefore resulting in the possibility that carbon sinks may one day turn into carbon sources. A recent development has been to investigate the soils in tropical rainforests such as the Amazon.
- Mason SL, Filley TR, Abbott GD. A comparative study of the molecular composition of a grassland soil with adjacent unforested and afforested moorland ecosystems. Organic Geochemistry 2012, 42, 1519-1528.
- Rimmer DL, Abbott GD. Phenolic compounds in NaOH extracts of UK soils and their contribution to antioxidant capacity. European Journal of Soil Science 2011, 62(2), 285-294.
- Swain EY, Perks MP, Vanguelova EI, Abbott GD. Carbon stocks and phenolic distributions in peaty gley soils afforested with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). Organic Geochemistry 2010, 41(9), 1022-1025.
- Mason SL, Filley TR, Abbott GD. The effect of afforestation on the soil organic carbon (SOC) of a peaty gley soil using on-line thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation (THM) in the presence of 13C-labelled tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH). Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 2009, 85(1-2), 417-425.