You are here: Home » Past Issues » Volume 18, 2023 - Number 1 » DYNAMICS OF SOIL ORGANIC CARBON AFTER MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF FARMING IN THE DANUBE DELTA, Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences February 2023, Vol. 18, No.1, p. 5 – 14; DOI:10.26471/cjees/2023/018/236
Victoria MOCANU1, Sorina DUMITRU1, Cristian PALTINEANU*1 & Horia DOMNARIU1
1National Research and Development Institute for Soil Science, Agrochemistry and Environment - ICPA Bucharest, B-dul Marasti, no. 61, 011464 Bucharest, Romania.
*Corresponding author, email: email@example.com, orcid.org/0000-0003-3347-5339
DYNAMICS OF SOIL ORGANIC CARBON AFTER MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF FARMING IN THE DANUBE DELTA, Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences February 2023, Vol. 18, No.1, p. 5 – 14; DOI:10.26471/cjees/2023/018/236
Soil organic carbon (SOC) is an important parameter in the context of global warming, and a special attention should be given to its dynamics. The purpose of this paper is to test the existence of SOC losses from the soils taken for farming for more than 25 years in some areas of the Danube Delta. Another objective is to quantify such SOC losses if they exist. The studied soils belong to two land reclamation areas, Carasuhat and Dunavat, from the Danube Delta. Data of present-day SOC stocks were compared to the SOC stocks calculated for the period until year 1996 for the same soil units in order to assess the dynamics of SOC losses for more than 25 years. We have found that a specific process was noted for the organic soils, Histosols, which were turned into histic soils after farming, meaning that there was a significant decrease in SOC pool. Thus, SOC losses due to farming were maximum for Histosols, and SOC stocks were highly significantly lower in 2022 versus 1996, due to increasing mineralization processes of organic matter and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions that occurred in cropland areas. Relationships have been found quantifying SOC losses versus the original 1996 stocks, confirming that Histosols, containing the maximum SOC stocks, present the highest risk of degradation. Lowering of the ground water and consequently the intensified oxidation of peat are very important factors in SOC losses beside the agricultural land use works. Policy makers, decision makers and stake holders should promote conservation of the natural landscape of the Danube Delta in order to increase SOC stocks and decrease CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Maintaining the former SOC stock at the present-day level and enhancing new organic C sequestration in the renatured parts of the less fertile Delta soils could contribute to global warming mitigation in the future and to supply agricultural products in the cropland already in use. Future research in characteristic stationary sites of the Danube Delta, especially in the farmland area, is recommended to improve our knowledge on SOC evolution.
Keyword: wetland ecosystem, crop environment, carbon sequestration, carbon loss, Histosols, histic soils
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