A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Low black carbon concentration in agricultural soils of central and northern Ethiopia

Publication Details
Authors: Yli-Halla Markku., Rimhanen Karoliina., Muurinen Johanna, Kaseva Janne, Kahiluoto Helena
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Science of the Total Environment
Volume number: 631-632
Start page: 1
End page: 6
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0048-9697
eISSN: 1879-1026
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


Soil carbon
(C) represents the largest terrestrial carbon stock and is key for soil
productivity. Major fractions of soil C consist of organic C,
carbonates and black C. The turnover rate of black C is lower than that
of organic C, and black C abundance decreases the vulnerablility of soil
C stock to decomposition under climate change.
The aim of this study was to determine the distribution of soil C in
different pools and impact of agricultural management on the abundance
of different species. Soil C fractions were quantified in the topsoils
(0–15 cm) of 23 sites in the tropical highlands of Ethiopia. The sites in central Ethiopia represented paired plots of agroforestry and adjacent control plots where cereal crops were traditionally grown in clayey soils. In the sandy loam
and loam soils of northern Ethiopia, the pairs represented restrained
grazing with adjacent control plots with free grazing, and terracing
with cereal-based cropping with adjacent control plots without
terracing. Soil C contained in carbonates, organic matter and black C
along with total C was determined. The total C median was 1.5% (range
0.3–3.6%). The median proportion of organic C was 85% (range 53–94%), 6%
(0–41%) for carbonate C and 6% (4–21%) for black C. An increase was
observed in the organic C and black C fractions attributable to
agroforestry and restrained grazing. The very low concentration of the
relatively stable black C fraction and the dominance of organic C in
these Ethiopian soils suggest vulnerability to degradation and the
necessity for cultivation practices maintaining the C stock.

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Last updated on 2019-13-03 at 12:00