GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2018, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (11): 2206-2217.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201811007

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Spatial-temporal change of soil organic carbon density and storage in Anhui province from 1980 to 2010

Mingsong ZHAO1,2(), Decheng LI2(), Ganlin ZHANG2, Shihang WANG1   

  1. 1. School of Geodesy and Geomatics, Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan 232001, Anhui, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
  • Received:2018-04-27 Revised:2018-07-09 Online:2018-11-20 Published:2018-11-23
  • About author:

    Author: Shi Zhenqin (1988-), PhD, specialized in regional development and land space management in mountain areas. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Deng Wei (1957-), Professor, specialized in mountain environment and regional development.



In this paper, Anhui province was selected as a subject for a case study. A comparative study was conducted based on the data of the Second National Soil Survey and the data collected during 2010 and 2011. The study, applying GIS spatial analysis, focuses on the spatial-temporal change of soil organic carbon (SOC) density and storage in the surface layer (0-20 cm) and 0-100 cm layer of the study area during the period (1980-2010). Furthermore, this research explored the impact of land use change on SOC density and storage. The results are as follows: (1) From 1980 to 2010, the mean SOC density decreased by 0.37 kg/m2 in the surface layer, and by 1.63 kg/m2 in the 0-100 cm layer in the whole province. SOC density in the cultivated land increased, yet it decreased in the non-cultivated land. (2) The map of SOC density change showed that SOC density increased in the north and decreased in the south. The increment rate decreased from north to south within the province. The area with SOC density increment was slightly more than the area where SOC density decreased. (3) From 1980 to 2010, SOC storage decreased by 34.23×109 kg and 197.26×109 kg in the surface layer and 0-100 cm layer, respectively. SOC storage increased in Huaibei plain, Jianghuai hilly land and Yangtze plain, and decreased in western and southern hilly mountains. (4) SOC density and storage reduction is relatively slow in the context of non-cultivated land changing to cultivated land, rather than in the remaining original land functions or transferring to other non-cultivated functions. The internal transfer of cultivated land functions, i.e., changing to paddy field or upland, will result in more increment in SOC density and storage than the land with the remaining functions. The research will provide support in decision making related to regional soil carbon sequestration potential and soil fertility changes.

Key words: soil organic carbon, spatial-temporal change, GIS, Anhui province