Biology and Fertility of Soils, 2012, Vol.48(3), pp.305-313
Soil labile organic carbon (C) oxidation drives the flux of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) between soils and the atmosphere. However, the impact of grazing management and the contribution soil aggregate size classes (ASCs) to labile organic C from grassland soils is unclear. We evaluated the effects of grazing intensity and soil ASC on the soil labile organic C, including CO 2 production, microbial biomass C, and dissolved organic C and nitrogen (N) mineralization in topsoils (0–10 cm) in Inner Mongolia, Northern China. Soil samples were separated into ASCs of 0–630 μm [fine ASC (fASC)], 630–2000 μm [medium ASC (mASC)] and 〉2000 μm [coarse ASC (cASC)]. The results showed that heavy grazing (HG) and continuous grazing (CG) increased soil labile organic C significantly compared to an ungrazed site since 1999 (UG99) and an ungrazed site since 1979 (UG79). For winter grazing site (WG), no significant differences were found. CO 2 production was highest in cASC, while lowest in fASC. Microbial biomass C and dissolved organic C showed the highest values in mASC and were significantly lower in fASC. Grazing increased N mineralization in bulk soils, while it exhibited complex effects in the three ASCs. The results suggest that the rate of C mineralization was related to the rate of N accumulation. To reduce CO 2 emission and nutrient loss, and to improve soil quality and productivity, a grazing system with moderate intensity is suggested.
Soil organic carbon ; Microbial biomass carbon ; Dissolved organic carbon ; Semiarid grassland ; Inner Mongolia
Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
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