Baseline map of soil organic carbon in Tibet and its uncertainty in the 1980s

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhou, Y., Webster, R., Viscara Rossel, R. A., Shi, Z. and Chen, S. 2019. Baseline map of soil organic carbon in Tibet and its uncertainty in the 1980s. Geoderma. 334, pp. 123-133.

AuthorsZhou, Y., Webster, R., Viscara Rossel, R. A., Shi, Z. and Chen, S.
Abstract

Much of the carbon (C) stored in the soil of the high Qinghai–Tibet Plateau could be lost as a result of global warming. To provide a baseline against which to assess the loss we have made a new map at 90-m resolution from sample data of 1148 soil profiles augmented by information on climate, vegetation, physiography and digital elevation. We used the program Cubist, which works as a form of regression tree, to predict the concentration at the nodes of the 90-m grid. The uncertainty of the predictions was computed by bootstrapping 50 times at each node. Soil type, evapotranspiration (ET), precipitation, radiation and vegetation type contributed most to the variation in C at the coarse scale; temperature, net primary productivity, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), ET and elevation contributed most at finer scales. We mapped the predicted concentration of C and converted the predictions to stocks of C for the main kinds of land: 1.93 Pg for the alpine steppe, 1.57 Pg for the meadow, 0.66 Pg in the coniferous forest, 0.63 Pg in the broadleaf forest, 1.06 Pg under shrub,<0.4 Pg for each of the alpine desert and cropland. We estimate the uppermost 30 cm of soil to contain 6.81 Pg of C with 95% (3.80 to 10.27 Pg). This estimate differs substantially from the two previous coarser estimates based on global modelling which far exceed our 95% upper confidence limit. Our new estimate can now serve as a base against which to judge any change of soil C as a response to global warming.

KeywordsSoil organic carbon; Digital soil mapping; Tibetan Plateau; Soil carbon stock; Climate change
Year of Publication2019
JournalGeoderma
Journal citation334, pp. 123-133
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.07.037
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderNational Natural Science Foundation of China
Funder project or code41571339
41461063
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online05 Dec 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Jul 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0016-7061

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