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The Biogeochemistry of the Amazon Basin$
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Michael E. McClain, Reynaldo Victoria, and Jeffrey E. Richey

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195114317

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195114317.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Carbon Storage in Biomass and Soils

Carbon Storage in Biomass and Soils

(p.165) 11 Carbon Storage in Biomass and Soils
The Biogeochemistry of the Amazon Basin

Martial Bernoux

Marisa C. Piccolo

Oxford University Press

Carbon dioxide and methane integrate biogeochemical cycles of C and constitute, together with nitrous oxide, the main trace gases responsible for the greenhouse effect. Increasing interest in the global consequences of climate change has prompted the global scientific community to deepen their studies about the global C stocks and the interrelations among its different compartments. As main compartments, soils and phytomass (living and nonliving) have received special attention. Many authors proposed a quantification of C stored in soils and proposed to study their role as both a source and sink of carbon (Post et al. 1982, Eswaran et al. 1993, Sombroek et al. 1993, Batjes 1996). The world’s mineral soils are estimated to contain about 1500 Pg C (Post et al. 1982, Eswaran et al. 1993, Batjes 1996), while the biomass of plants is estimated to be comprised between 560 and 835 Pg C (Whittaker and Likens 1975, Bouwman 1990). Tropical forests account for between 20 and 25% of the world terrestrial C (Brown and Lugo 1982, Dixon et al. 1994). The Amazon contains the largest expanse of native tropical ecosystems and has a direct influence on global biogeochemical cycles, especially the C cycle. The C stored in phytomass is of importance because of its quantity and its potential to be released easily. Carbon in soil is proved to be important because soil organic carbon (SOC) is intimately involved in virtually all biological processes, and organic matter (OM), even when present in small amounts, is an extremely important soil constituent. Two Brazilian soil classes, Latossolos and Podzólicos, make up 73% of the total area of the Legal Amazon Basin of Brazil (Prado 1996, Jacomine and Camargo 1996). More precisely, only three dystrofic soil types, Podzólico Vermelho Amarelo (Acrisol), Latossolo Amarelo (xanthic Ferralsol), and Latossolo Vermelho Amarelo (orthic Ferralsol) cover approximately 60% of the total, and are therefore of prime interest. The remainder is distributed between 13 additional classes. Only 6, however, represent more than one percent, and only 2 of which are more than 5%: Plintossolos (Inceptisols, Oxisols, and Alfisols) and Gleissolos (Entisols and Inceptisols).

Keywords:   Yurimaguas, carbon dioxide, hydro-electric dams, isotope techniques, methane, nitrous oxide, soil organic Carbon

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