J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2009, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (9): 900-905.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2009.00852.x

Special Issue: Ecology and Global Changes

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles    

Carbon Sequestration in Two Alpine Soils on the Tibetan Plateau

Yu-Qiang Tian1,2, Xing-Liang Xu2, Ming-Hua Song2, Cai-Ping Zhou2, Qiong Gao1 and Hua Ouyang2*   

  1. 1 College of Resources Science & Technology, State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modelling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2009-01-17 Accepted:2009-05-25 Published:2009-08-27
  • About author: * Author for correspondence Tel: +86 10 6488 9697; Fax: +86 10 6488 9813; E-mail: ohua@igsnrr.ac


Soil carbon sequestration was estimated in a conifer forest and an alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau using a carbon- 14 radioactive label provided by thermonuclear weapon tests (known as bomb-14C). Soil organic matter was physically separated into light and heavy fractions. The concentration spike of bomb-14C occurred at a soil depth of 4 cm in both the forest soil and the alpine meadow soil. Based on the depth of the bomb-14C spike, the carbon sequestration rate was determined to be 38.5 g C/m2 per year for the forest soil and 27.1 g C/m2 per year for the alpine meadow soil. Considering that more than 60% of soil organic carbon (SOC) is stored in the heavy fraction and the large area of alpine forests and meadows on the Tibetan Plateau, these alpine ecosystems might partially contribute to “the missing carbon sink”.

Tian YQ, Xu XL, Song MH, Zhou CP, Gao Q, Ouyang H (2009). Carbon sequestration in two alpine soils on the Tibetan Plateau. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(9), 900–905.

Key words: alpine soils, bomb carbon, carbon sequestration, soil organic carbon.

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