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Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale


Singh, N; Abiven, Samuel; Torn, M S; Schmidt, Michael W I (2012). Fire-derived organic carbon in soil turns over on a centennial scale. Biogeosciences, 9(8):2847-2857.

Abstract

Pyrogenic carbon (PyC), the residue of an incomplete combustion of biomass, is considered as a carbon (C) sink due to its assumed stability in soil. PyC turnover time estimated using two modelling approaches, based on data from 16 published studies (n = 54) on PyC degradation, ranged from a decadal to centennial time scale, varying with initial biomass type, pyrolysis temperature, and incubation or field study. The average turnover time using a one-pool approach was 88 y, and the best estimate using a two-pool approach was 3 y for a fast-cycling pool and 870 y for a slow-cycling pool. Based on this meta-analysis, PyC cannot be assumed to persist in soils for thousands of years, and its use as a strategy for offsetting carbon emissions requires prudence and further research.

Abstract

Pyrogenic carbon (PyC), the residue of an incomplete combustion of biomass, is considered as a carbon (C) sink due to its assumed stability in soil. PyC turnover time estimated using two modelling approaches, based on data from 16 published studies (n = 54) on PyC degradation, ranged from a decadal to centennial time scale, varying with initial biomass type, pyrolysis temperature, and incubation or field study. The average turnover time using a one-pool approach was 88 y, and the best estimate using a two-pool approach was 3 y for a fast-cycling pool and 870 y for a slow-cycling pool. Based on this meta-analysis, PyC cannot be assumed to persist in soils for thousands of years, and its use as a strategy for offsetting carbon emissions requires prudence and further research.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:09 Nov 2012 09:18
Last Modified:17 Feb 2018 00:02
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
ISSN:1726-4170
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-2847-2012

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