This work investigated the role of land cover and land use change as a soil’s ability to store carbon and reducecarbon dioxide emission in a Mediterranean area. Using both historic records and land cover crop maps weestimated the effect of land cover change on the carbon stock from 1972 to 2008 in a natural reserve (Grotta di S.Ninfa) in the West of Sicily. Five paired sites in different soil types were selected and five land use classes (arableland, vineyard, olivegrove, gariga, eucalyptus afforestation) were analyzed. We studied the effect of land use onsoil organic carbon (SOC) content in bulk soil and 1000-2000 m, 500-1000 m, 250-500 m, 63-250 m, 25-63 m and <25 m size fractions. Furthermore, laboratory incubation of the soil samples was conducted to measurecarbon dioxide evolution in bulk soil and a smaller size fraction from each five land use classes. In this way weevaluated mass distribution of different SOC pools influenced by land use and their relationships with carbonmineralization and different soil proprieties. Finally our results indicated that land use conversion, vegetationtype and management practices, which control biogeochemical and physical soil properties, could help to reducecarbon dioxide emissions and sequester SOC.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|