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Production of Carbon Occluded in Phytolith Is Season-Dependent in a Bamboo Forest in Subtropical China

Articles

Journal/Conference:

PLOS ONE

Language:

English

Author:

Huang ZhangTing; Jiang PeiKun; Chang Scott Xiaochuan; Zhang Yan; Ying Qi

Year:

2014

Volume:

9

Issue:

9

Pages:

1-6

Carbon (C) occluded in phytolith (PhytOC) is a stable form of C; when PhytOC is returned to the soil through litterfall it is stored in the soil which can be an effective way for long-term C sequestration. However, few estimates on the rate of PhytOC input to the soil are available. To better understand the seasonal dynamics of PhytOC production and the annual rate of stable C sequestration through PhytOC input, we quantified the monthly litterfall, phytolith and PhytOC return to the soil over a year in a typical Lei bamboo (Phyllostachys praecox) forest in subtropical China. The monthly litterfall ranged between 14.81 and 131.18 g m(-2), and the phytolith concentration in the monthly litterfall samples ranged between 47.21 and 101.68 g kg(-1) of litter mass, with the PhytOC concentration in the phytolith ranged between 29.4 and 44.9 g kg(-1) of phytolith, equivalent to 1.8-3.6 g kg(-1) of PhytOC in the litterfall (based on litterfall dry mass). The amount of phytolith input to the soil system was 292.21 +/- 69.12 (mean +/- SD) kg ha(-1) yr(-1), sequestering 41.45 +/- 9.32 kg CO2-e ha(-1) yr(-1) of C in the studied Lei bamboo forest. This rate of C sequestration through the formation of PhytOC found in this study falls within the range of rates for other grass-type species reported in the literature. We conclude that return of C occluded in phytolith to the soil can be a substantial source of stable soil C and finding means to increase PhytOC storage in the soil should be able to play a significant role in mitigating the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.