Terrestrial organic carbon storage in a British moorland

Garnett, M.H., Ineson, P., Stevenson, A.C. and Howard, D.C. (2001) Terrestrial organic carbon storage in a British moorland. Global Change Biology, 7(4), pp. 375-388. (doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2486.2001.00382.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2486.2001.00382.x

Abstract

Accurate estimates for the size of terrestrial organic carbon (C) stores are needed to determine their importance in regulating atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The C stored in vegetation and soil components of a British moorland was evaluated in order to: (i) investigate the importance of these ecosystems for C storage and (ii) test the accuracy of the United Kingdom's terrestrial C inventory. The area of vegetation and soil types was determined using existing digitized maps and a Geographical Information System (GIS). The importance of evaluating C storage using 2D area projections, as opposed to true surface areas, was investigated and found to be largely insignificant. Vegetation C storage was estimated from published results of productivity studies at the site supplemented by field sampling to evaluate soil C storage. Vegetation was found to be much less important for C storage than soil, with peat soils, particularly Blanket bog, containing the greatest amounts of C. Whilst the total amount of C in vegetation was similar to the UK national C inventory's estimate for the same area, the national inventory estimate for soil C was over three times higher than the value derived in the current study. Because the UK's C inventory can be considered relatively accurate compared to many others, the results imply that current estimates for soil C storage, at national and global scales, should be treated with caution.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garnett, Dr Mark
Authors: Garnett, M.H., Ineson, P., Stevenson, A.C., and Howard, D.C.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Global Change Biology
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:1354-1013
Copyright Holders:© Blackwell Publishing
First Published:First published in Global Change Biology 7(4):375 - 388
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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