Inland saline aquaculture increased carbon accumulation rate and stability in pond sediments under semi-arid climate

Aralappanavar, V.K. and Bharti, V.S. and Mukhopadhyay, R. and Prakash, S. and Harikrishna, V. and Bhuvaneswari, G.R. and Tripathi, G. and Krishna, G. and Sarkar, B. (2022) Inland saline aquaculture increased carbon accumulation rate and stability in pond sediments under semi-arid climate. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 22 (2). pp. 672-681. ISSN 1439-0108

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Purpose: Similar to fresh- and brackish water aquaculture ponds, commercial shrimp farming in degraded saline areas holds the potential to bury carbon (C) in the sediments. However, studies on the mechanisms of sediment C dynamics and C-flux in response to inland saline aquaculture management practices are still scarce. Therefore, the objectives of the present study are to quantify the C burial rate in inland saline aquaculture ponds and assess the impact of inland saline aquaculture on sensitive C fractions in the bottom sediment of the ponds. Materials and methods: The sediment samples (n = 12 from each pond) were collected from six shrimp farming ponds (1000 m2 area of each pond) of different ages. The sediment depth, sediment accumulation rate and the levels of total carbon (TC), total organic carbon (TOC) and sediment oxidizable organic carbon (SOC) and its different fractions were determined using standard procedures. The data were analysed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by the Duncan's multiple range test for comparing the means, and the Pearson correlation test was used to assess the relationship between the different pond sediment parameters and SOC content. Results and discussion: The results revealed that the annual C accumulation rates varied from 902 to 1346 kg C ha−1 year−1 in 7-year-old earthen ponds (EPs) and bottom cemented ponds (BCPs), respectively. The sediment C fractions, including TC, TOC, SOC and its fractions (very labile, VLc; labile, Lc; less labile, LLc), and non-labile carbon (NLc)) were progressively increased over the pond age. The inland saline aquaculture practices over the years increased both active (AC) and passive carbon (PC) pools in the pond sediments, helped in the restoration and improvement of sediment quality and enhanced C sequestration potential of the sediments. Furthermore, a significant increase in the level of particulate organic carbon (POC) in BCPs justified that the non-ploughing practices at BCPs facilitated the formation of macro- and micro-aggregates, thereby increasing the C retention and stability of the pond sediments. Conclusion: This study suggested that the shrimp farming ponds in semi-arid saline soils represented considerable C burial hotspots, enhanced the stable passive C pools and improved the sediment quality.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Soils and Sediments
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26 Nov 2021 15:30
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21 Oct 2023 00:33