Comparing and predicting soil carbon quantities under different land use systems on the red ferrosol soils of southeast Queensland

Maraseni, Tek Narayan and Mathers, Nicole J. and Harms, Ben and Cockfield, Geoff and Apan, Armando and Maroulis, Jerry (2008) Comparing and predicting soil carbon quantities under different land use systems on the red ferrosol soils of southeast Queensland. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 63 (4). pp. 250-256. ISSN 0022-4561


Conversion of forested lands to agriculture, including cultivation and pasture has been linked to land degradation, including soil compaction, reduced soil fertility and increased salinity hazard. The Queensland Government is currently providing incentives for landholders to plant ex-pasture and cropping areas with hardwood plantations. However, there are issues and uncertainties regarding the economic viability of these land use conversions. Carbon credits resulting from additional carbon (C) sequestration achieved in the plantations are now recognised under the Kyoto Protocol, but the nature of the carbon trading scheme that will apply is still unclear, as Australia has not ratified the Protocol. This study compared the total soil C under native scrub (subtropical dry vine forest), grazed pasture, cultivation and spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora subspecies variegata) forest on the Red Ferrosol soils of the Kingaroy region in southeast Queensland (SEQ). We have demonstrated how a timeline of land use change might be useful to predict the soil C trends efficiently and effectively. Cumulative soil C (including surface litter and particulate organic matter) to 1.2 t m-2 dry soil ranged from 72 t ha-1 at the cultivated site to 281 t ha-1 under the mature spotted gum forest. The estimated annual rates of soil C loss under cultivation in last 55 years (1950-2005) was 2.1% and the estimated annual rate of soil C gain in pasture in last 23 years (1983-2005) was 1.1%. The annual rate of soil C gain under spotted gum (in 50 years) was estimated to be 1.4%. Therefore there is considerable potential for spotted gum plantations to sequester soil C when planted on ex-agricultural land in SEQ.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited with permission of Publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - No Department
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2008 01:20
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 01:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: red ferrosol; land use change; dry land farming; inland Queensland; carbon sequestration; carbon credits
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050303 Soil Biology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919901 Carbon and Emissions Trading
Identification Number or DOI: 10.2489/jswc.63.4.250

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