EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Enhancement of soil organic carbon storage and aggregation following cropland afforestation

Chih-Hsin Cheng, Pei-Chen Lee, and Xiao-Yi Fang
Chih-Hsin Cheng et al.
  • National Taiwan University, School of Forestry and Resource Conservation, Taipei, Taiwan (

The cropland afforestation policy was initiated in 2002 in Taiwan and had been approaching the 20-year term. From the scientific perspective, it is a critical issue to understand the public welfare role and ecosystem services provided by the cropland afforestation. In this study, we investigated the changes of soil organic carbon (SOC) on plantations after 14 years conversion from the sugarcane fields. Soil samples were collected at 0-10 and 10-20 cm depth. Soil organic C concentration, bulk density, soil aggregation, and the stable isotopic 13C of the SOC and aggregates were determined. The results indicated the SOC stocks on the afforested plots were between 1000 and 1500 g m-2 significantly higher than those under the sugarcane plots (p < 0.05). The analyses of stable 13C indicated that the net increases in SOC stocks on the afforested plots were mainly attributed to the inputs of the forest-derived SOC that outweighed the loss of sugarcane-derived SOC. The afforestation also enhanced the aggregation with higher stability and SOC concentration. The comparatively depleted 13C values in the stable macroaggregates further suggested the ecological function from this new SOC source. Combining with the stand development and aboveground biomass accumulation, we expected the cropland afforestation would provide ecosystem services and functions.

How to cite: Cheng, C.-H., Lee, P.-C., and Fang, X.-Y.: Enhancement of soil organic carbon storage and aggregation following cropland afforestation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1833,, 2021.