Understanding the global carbon cycle is one of the foremost issues in environmental sciences because of the potential implications for climate, but also the sustainable use of soils. Soils comprise the largest part of the terrestrial carbon store, at 1600 GtC they are approximately twice the atmospheric carbon pool and three times the vegetation carbon pool. While the significance of soil erosion for the global carbon cycle has been recognized, major gaps remain with regards to identifying carbon source and sink areas in changing landscapes, controls on the movement of carbon through geomorphic systems, and the fate of soil organic matter deposited in shallow, short-lived landscape sinks. Carbon erosion is intrinsically linked to agriculture, forestry, land use and climate change, therefore the temporal dynamics of Carbon erosion, movement, temporary storage and fate especially in degrading landscapes require attention.
The proposed session is therefore open to all research dealing with current processes associated with particulate carbon erosion, and with geomorphological controls on terrestrial carbon balance. This includes the subsequent movement and fate of particulate carbon in rivers and landscapes, including respiration and the resulting emissions of Carbon dioxide and Methane.
A particular emphasis is given to studies which aim at the assessment of the spatial patterns and overall relevance of carbon erosion and subsequent emissions for the global carbon cycle for current, future and past Holocene climate and land use scenarios. Research on a range of landscape agricultural landscapes, peatlands, forests, is invited as well as work linking sediment budgets to carbon budgets.
The session is supported by the British Society for Geomorphology.
The session investigates the role of erosional processes in terrestrial carbon cycling and culminates in a 30 minute discussion period on 'the fate of eroded carbon' during the second time slot