Tropical primary rainforests of Africa are an enormous reservoir of carbon (C), most of which, in the common perception, is stored in the biomass. We studied one of these forests, Ankasa, in the south-western part of Ghana, in terms of quantity and (14)C activity of soil organic carbon (SOC) to elucidate the little known important role of soil in storing carbon in such biomass-rich environments. The stock of carbon in the mineral soil to a depth of 1 m was measured to be 151 +/- 20 Mg C ha(-1), a similar value in magnitude to the one of the aboveground biomass being 138-170 Mg C ha(-1), including live and dead wood. Surface litter C is roughly 10% (15 +/- 9 Mg C ha(-1)) of the C in the biomass and soil. The radiocarbon measurements indicate that SOC was significantly affected by "bomb C" enrichment, so that "Modern C", namely with a mean radiocarbon age lower than 200 years, is present also deeper than 45 cm in the Bo2 horizon. The mean residence time (MRT) estimated from radiocarbon content are of the order of a few decades in the topsoil and a few centuries in the deeper horizons. Altogether, the MRT values indicate a fast recycle of C compared to temperate or boreal forests, but not as fast as usually believed for tropical forest soils. Making a pondered mean, in the Ankasa forest the time an atom of C resides in soil is not much different from one atom of C in the woody aboveground biomass. Hence, the contribution of soil in storing C is substantial, implying that in primary rainforests it is mandatory to determine the SOC stock and its dynamics, too often neglected or underestimated.

The role of soil in storing carbon in tropical rainforests: the case of Ankasa Park, Ghana / T. CHITI; G. CERTINI; E. GRIECO; R. VALENTINI. - In: PLANT AND SOIL. - ISSN 0032-079X. - STAMPA. - 331(2010), pp. 453-461. [10.1007/s11104-009-0265-x]

The role of soil in storing carbon in tropical rainforests: the case of Ankasa Park, Ghana

CERTINI, GIACOMO;
2010

Abstract

Tropical primary rainforests of Africa are an enormous reservoir of carbon (C), most of which, in the common perception, is stored in the biomass. We studied one of these forests, Ankasa, in the south-western part of Ghana, in terms of quantity and (14)C activity of soil organic carbon (SOC) to elucidate the little known important role of soil in storing carbon in such biomass-rich environments. The stock of carbon in the mineral soil to a depth of 1 m was measured to be 151 +/- 20 Mg C ha(-1), a similar value in magnitude to the one of the aboveground biomass being 138-170 Mg C ha(-1), including live and dead wood. Surface litter C is roughly 10% (15 +/- 9 Mg C ha(-1)) of the C in the biomass and soil. The radiocarbon measurements indicate that SOC was significantly affected by "bomb C" enrichment, so that "Modern C", namely with a mean radiocarbon age lower than 200 years, is present also deeper than 45 cm in the Bo2 horizon. The mean residence time (MRT) estimated from radiocarbon content are of the order of a few decades in the topsoil and a few centuries in the deeper horizons. Altogether, the MRT values indicate a fast recycle of C compared to temperate or boreal forests, but not as fast as usually believed for tropical forest soils. Making a pondered mean, in the Ankasa forest the time an atom of C resides in soil is not much different from one atom of C in the woody aboveground biomass. Hence, the contribution of soil in storing C is substantial, implying that in primary rainforests it is mandatory to determine the SOC stock and its dynamics, too often neglected or underestimated.
331
453
461
T. CHITI; G. CERTINI; E. GRIECO; R. VALENTINI
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2158/391942
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