Changes in organic carbon to clay ratios in different soils and land uses in England and Wales over time

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Prout, J. M., Shepherd, K. D., McGrath, S. P., Kirk, G. J. D., Hassall, K. L. and Haefele, S. M. 2022. Changes in organic carbon to clay ratios in different soils and land uses in England and Wales over time. Scientific Reports. 12, p. 5162. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09101-3

AuthorsProut, J. M., Shepherd, K. D., McGrath, S. P., Kirk, G. J. D., Hassall, K. L. and Haefele, S. M.
Abstract

Realistic targets for soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations are needed, accounting for differences between soils and land uses. We assess the use of SOC/clay ratio for this purpose by comparing changes over time in (a) the National Soil Inventory of England and Wales, first sampled in 1978-1983 and resampled in 1994-2003, and (b) two long-term experiments under ley-arable rotations on contrasting soils in the East of England. The results showed that normalising for clay concentration provides a more meaningful separation between land uses than changes in SOC alone. Almost half of arable soils in the NSI had degraded SOC/clay ratios (< 1/13), compared with just 5% of permanent grass and woodland soils. Soils with initially large SOC/clay ratios (>= 1/8) were prone to greater losses of SOC between the two NSI samplings than those with smaller ratios. The results suggest realistic long-term targets for SOC/clay in arable, ley grass, permanent grass and woodland soils are 1/13, 1/10, and > 1/8, respectively. Given the wide range of soils and land uses across England and Wales in the datasets used to test these targets, they should apply across similar temperate regions globally, and at national to sub-regional scales.

KeywordsLong-term experiments; Organic carbon; Clay; Clay ratios; Soil and land use; England; Wales
Year of Publication2022
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation12, p. 5162
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-09101-3
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 1 (WP1) - Optimising nutrient flows and pools in the soil-plant-biota system
The Rothamsted Long Term Experiments [2017-2022]
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Mar 2022
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2045-2322

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/9886q/changes-in-organic-carbon-to-clay-ratios-in-different-soils-and-land-uses-in-england-and-wales-over-time

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