EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Soil organic carbon stocks in climatic and soil regions of Turkey mapped by a pedology-based GIS procedure

Claudio Zucca1 and the SOC in Turkish Landscapes international team*
Claudio Zucca and the SOC in Turkish Landscapes international team
  • 1Università degli Studi di Sassari, Centre for Sustainable Management of Soil and Landscape, Dipartimento di Agraria, Sassari, Italy (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

An original GIS-based procedure was developed to map SOC stocks across four study areas representing different bioclimatic regions of Turkey, Northeastern Anatolia (NEA), Thrace (THR), Central Anatolia (CA), and Southeastern Anatolia (SEA), over a total surface of around 148,000 km2. A dataset of 4151 georeferenced topsoil (0-20 cm) soil organic carbon (SOC) point samples was used, along with climate, soil type, and land cover maps.

C-Stock maps were elaborated independently in each study region. Average C-Stock values were assigned to “landscape” polygon units representing combinations of WRB soil type, land cover, and climate, based on the point data included in such units. The obtained values were extrapolated to similar landscape units for which point data were not available. This procedure allowed highlighting the effects on soil carbon of contemporary land cover. The effects of past and recent land use were incorporated by acquiring historical information on land management in traditional landscape systems (Anthroscapes) and its contribution to preserve the current soil carbon reserves. The overall total calculated C-Stock was 486.8 Tg with an average value of 31.5 Mg ha-1. Average SOC stock values per hectare were highest (47.1 Mg ha-1) in the cool-humid NEA, lowest (22.1 Mg ha-1) in the semi-arid SEA, and moderately low (27.3 and 25.6 Mg ha-1) in the dry continental CA and in the Mediterranean THR regions.

Averaging carbon stock data over landscape units (nested climate, soil, land cover information), instead of using polygons to summarize gridded data obtained by spatial interpolation made the output maps and data more easily interpretable and usable to support the development of sustainable land management policies and to link carbon sequestration to other ecosystem services targets. The findings can be used for the definition of realistic carbon sequestration and soil health targets considering the potential determined by local climate and soil conditions, and land use.

SOC in Turkish Landscapes international team:

Gönül Aydın, Claudio Zucca, Rattan Lal, Selim Kapur, Mehmet Ali Çullu, Suha Berberoğlu, Ahmet Çilek, Erhan Akça, Salvatore Madrau, Selahattin Kadir, Sabit Erşahin, Emrah Hakkı Erdoğan, Alper Yorulmaz, Merve Ersoy Mirici, Mehmet Arif Özyazıcı, Orhan Dengiz, Mehmet Ali Gürbüz, Somayyeh Razzaghi Miavaghi, Levent Atatanır.

How to cite: Zucca, C. and the SOC in Turkish Landscapes international team: Soil organic carbon stocks in climatic and soil regions of Turkey mapped by a pedology-based GIS procedure, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-10139,, 2022.