Conversion behaviors of litter-derived organic carbon of two halophytes in soil and their influence on SOC stabilization of wetland in the Yangtze River Estuary

Jianfang YAN, Liwei QIAN, Xiaohua FU, Jihua WU, Yiu Fai TSANG, Lei WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is both a product and a cause of soil development. Previous studies found that less carbon (C) is fixed by Phragmites communis than Spartina alterniflora in the Jiuduansha wetland of the Yangtze River Estuary. However, the P. communis zone presented higher contents of SOC and humus, which was mainly related to lower soil respiration (SR). It is not well known how different plants affect turnover of original SOC in the Jiuduansha wetland, and thus soil development and tidal flat evolution. In this study, in-field surveys and microcosm experiments were conducted to trace turnover of plant C and evaluate dynamics of SOC using stable C isotopic techniques. Spartina alterniflora decayed faster than P. communis, and more of its derived OC was lost through SR and leaching. Although S. alterniflora-derived OC suppressed the degradation of original SOC, it was consumed to a greater extent, making less supplementation to SOC. Phragmites communis-derived OC showed less degradability and accelerated the degradation of original SOC, but was more incorporated into new SOC and finally caused higher increase in SOC, specifically in bare tidal flat soil with poor original SOC. Overall, compared with S. alterniflora, P. communis-derived OC more effectively replaced the unstable original SOC, thereby improving the content and stability of SOC, especially for soil in early-development stages of tidal flats. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number137109
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume716
Early online dateFeb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2020

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Estuaries
Wetlands
Organic carbon
stabilization
litter
Stabilization
Rivers
organic carbon
wetland
estuary
Soils
river
soil
tidal flat
soil respiration
turnover
degradation
Degradation
humus
microcosm

Citation

Yan, J., Qian, L., Fu, X., Wu, J., Tsang, Y. F., & Wang, L. (2020). Conversion behaviors of litter-derived organic carbon of two halophytes in soil and their influence on SOC stabilization of wetland in the Yangtze River Estuary. Science of The Total Environment, 716. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137109

Keywords

  • P. communis
  • S. alterniflora
  • Plant-derived OC
  • Original SOC dynamic
  • Tidal flat development