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What determines soil organic carbon stocks in the grazing lands of north-eastern Australia?

Allen, D. E. and Pringle, M. J. and Bray, S. and Hall, T. J. and O'Reagain, P. O. and Phelps, D. and Cobon, D. H. and Bloesch, P. M. and Dalal, R. C. (2013) What determines soil organic carbon stocks in the grazing lands of north-eastern Australia? Soil Research, 51 (7-8). pp. 695-706. ISSN 1838675X (ISSN)

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SR13041

Abstract

This study aimed to unravel the effects of climate, topography, soil, and grazing management on soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in the grazing lands of north-eastern Australia. We sampled for SOC stocks at 98 sites from 18 grazing properties across Queensland, Australia. These samples covered four nominal grazing management classes (Continuous, Rotational, Cell, and Exclosure), eight broad soil types, and a strong tropical to subtropical climatic gradient. Temperature and vapour-pressure deficit explained >80% of the variability of SOC stocks at cumulative equivalent mineral masses nominally representing 0-0.1 and 0-0.3m depths. Once detrended of climatic effects, SOC stocks were strongly influenced by total standing dry matter, soil type, and the dominant grass species. At 0-0.3m depth only, there was a weak negative association between stocking rate and climate-detrended SOC stocks, and Cell grazing was associated with smaller SOC stocks than Continuous grazing and Exclosure. In future, collection of quantitative information on stocking intensity, frequency, and duration may help to improve understanding of the effect of grazing management on SOC stocks. Further exploration of the links between grazing management and above- and below-ground biomass, perhaps inferred through remote sensing and/or simulation modelling, may assist large-area mapping of SOC stocks in northern Australia. © CSIRO 2013.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:Correspondence Address: Allen, D.E.; Landscape Sciences (ESP), Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, GPO Box 5078, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia; email: Diane.Allen@science.dsitia.qld.gov.au
Keywords:Climatic effects Climatic gradients Grazing management Northern Australia Quantitative information Soil organic carbon Soil organic Carbon stocks Stocking rates Computer simulation Soils biomass dominance dry matter grass numerical model remote sensing soil organic matter soil type Australia Queensland
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science > Soil and crops. Soil-plant relationships. Soil productivity
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Deposited On:23 Jun 2014 05:08
Last Modified:23 Jun 2014 05:08

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