Agricultural soil organic carbon stocks in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula: Drivers and spatial variability

Funes I., Savé R., Rovira P., Molowny-Horas R., Alcañiz J.M., Ascaso E., Herms I., Herrero C., Boixadera J., Vayreda J. (2019) Agricultural soil organic carbon stocks in the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula: Drivers and spatial variability. Science of the Total Environment. 668: 283-294.
Link
Doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.317

Abstract:

Estimating soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks under agriculture, assessing the importance of their drivers and understanding the spatial distribution of SOC stocks are crucial to predicting possible future SOC stocks scenarios under climate change conditions and to designing appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies. This study characterized and modelled SOC stocks at two soil depth intervals, topsoil (0–30 cm) and subsoil (30–100 cm), based on both legacy and recent data from 7245 agricultural soil profiles and using environmental drivers (climate, agricultural practices and soil properties) for agricultural soils in Catalonia (NE Spain). Generalized Least Square (GLS) and Geographical Weighted Regression (GWR) were used as modelling approaches to: (i) assess the main SOC stock drivers and their effects on SOC stocks; (ii) analyse spatial variability of SOC stocks and their relationships with the main drivers; and (iii) predict and map SOC stocks at the regional scale. While topsoil variation of SOC stocks depended mainly on climate, soil texture and agricultural variables, subsoil SOC stocks changes depended mainly on soil attributes such us soil texture, clay content, soil type or depth to bedrock. The GWR model revealed that the relationship between SOC stocks and drivers varied spatially. Finally, the study was only able to predict and map topsoil SOC stocks at the regional scale, because controlling factors of SOC stocks at the subsoil level were largely unavailable for digital mapping. According to the resulting map, the mean SOC stock value for Catalan agriculture at the topsoil level was 4.88 ± 0.89 kg/m 2 and the total magnitude of the carbon pool in agricultural soils of Catalonia up to 30 cm reached 47.9 Tg. The present study findings are useful for defining carbon sequestration strategies at the regional scale related with agricultural land use changes and agricultural management practices in a context of climate change. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.

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A quantitative assessment of mid-term risks of global change on forests in Western Mediterranean Europe

Gil-Tena A., Morán-Ordóñez A., Comas L., Retana J., Vayreda J., Brotons L. (2019) A quantitative assessment of mid-term risks of global change on forests in Western Mediterranean Europe. Regional Environmental Change. 19: 819-831.
Link
Doi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1437-0

Abstract:

Assessment of potential forests’ threats due to multiple global change components is urgently needed since increasing exposure to them could undermine their future persistence. We aim to assess the risks to the persistence of monospecific forests in Western Mediterranean Europe posed by climate change, fire, and land-use changes (i.e., deforestation) in the short and medium terms (horizon 2040). We specifically evaluate whether the degree of risk related to the likelihood of hazard occurrence varies depending on seral stage, tree species, and climate gradients. We performed the risk assessment on forests of Catalonia (NE Spain) through a combination of correlative and process-based modeling approaches and future global change scenarios. Overall, climate suitability of forests showed a general decrease by 2040, with the exception of xeric Pinus halepensis forests mainly distributed in the driest climate of the study area. Forest stands dominated by low drought-tolerant species were at higher risk of losing climatic suitability than forests dominated by Mediterranean species. The highest fire and deforestation risks were predicted for forest stands in dry climate where human pressures are higher. Nevertheless, high deforestation risk was also attained outside the driest areas. Deforestation risk was lower in old-growth than in younger stands, whereas old-growth forests in the Wet climate or dominated by Pinus sylvestris were projected to be at higher fire risk than younger forests. Our results suggest that conservation actions should target forest stands in dry climate. Moreover, old-growth forest stands should also be prioritized due to their particular sensitivity to disturbances and their high ecological value. © 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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