Estimating changes in Scottish soil carbon stocks using ECOSSE. II. Application

Smith, Jo and Gottschalk, Pia and Bellarby, Jessica and Chapman, Stephen and Lilly, Allan and Towers, Willie and Bell, John and Coleman, Kevin and Nayak, Dali and Richards, Mark and Hillier, Jon and Flynn, Helen and Wattenbach, Martin and Aitkenhead, Matt and Yeluripurti, Jagadeesh and Farmer, Jenny and Milne, Ronnie and Thomson, Amanda and Evans, Chris and Whitmore, Andy and Falloon, Pete and Smith, Pete (2010) Estimating changes in Scottish soil carbon stocks using ECOSSE. II. Application. Climate Research, 45. pp. 193-205. ISSN 0936-577X

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In order to predict the response of carbon (C)-rich soils to external change, models are needed that accurately reflect the conditions of these soils. Here we present an example application of the new Estimation of Carbon in Organic Soils – Sequestration and Emissions (ECOSSE) model to estimate net change in soil C in response to changes in land use in Scotland. The ECOSSE estimate of annual change in soil C stocks for Scotland between 2000 and 2009 is –810 ± 89 kt yr–1, equivalent to 0.037 ± 0.004% yr–1. Increasing the area of land-use change from arable to grass has the greatest potential to sequester soil C, and reducing the area of change from grass to arable has the greatest potential to reduce losses of soil C. Across Scotland, simulated changes in soil C from C-rich soils (C content >6%) between 1950 and 2009 is –63 Mt, compared with –35 Mt from non-C-rich mineral soils; losses from C-rich soils between 2000 and 2009 make up 64% of the total soil C losses. One mitigation option that could be used in upland soils to achieve zero net loss of C from Scottish soils is to stop conversion of semi-natural land to grassland and increase conversion of grassland to semi-natural land by 125% relative to the present rate. Mitigation options involving forestry are not included here because the data available to calculate losses of soil C do not account for losses of soil C on drainage of semi-natural land.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Climate Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? environmental science(all)environmental chemistryatmospheric science ??
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Deposited On:
28 Feb 2014 11:26
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:30