Effects of exotic Spartina alterniflora on vertical soil organic carbon distribution and storage amount in coastal salt marshes in Jiangsu, China

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Coastal wetlands soil organic carbon (SOC) plays an important role in global carbon sequestration, and exotic S. alterniflora affects the coastal ecosystem's functions including SOC storage (SOCS). We investigated the vertical deep soil SOC distribution (0–300 cm) in Jiangsu salt marsh and estimated its changes. The results show that (1) exotic S. alterniflora increases the SOC, with higher densities (g kg −1 ) in both topsoil and deep soil in its colonized area, and subsequently increases the SOCS vertical depth (cm) distribution. Such influences become more prominent with time since the introduction of S. alterniflora. The deepest SOC distribution (180 cm) and the highest SOC content (2.14 ± 0.19 g kg −1 ) in the deep layer (50–300 cm) were found in the zones where S. salsa – S. alterniflora co-exist (SSI). The vertical SOC distribution in zones where multi-species co-exists is deeper than that in mono-species dominated zones; (2) The deep soil (100–300 cm) SOC accounts more than 50% of 0–300 cm SOC in Jiangsu salt marsh, suggesting that SOC content of deep soil should not be ignored when calculating the global soil carbon stock; (3) Total SOCS within 0–300 cm in Jiangsu salt marshes (107.84 × 10 6  m 2 ) is 84.90 × 10 10  g, of which 0–100 cm, 100–200 cm and 200–300 cm layer accounts for 38.25%, 30.72% and 31.03%, respectively. The size of the SOCS (0–300 cm) in the Jiangsu salt marshes relatively to the global biome (0.36 × 10 −6 ) is in a lower proportion of the range of salt marsh area to global biome area (0.89 × 10 −6 ). The S. alterniflora salt marsh contributes most of the SOCS in the 0–300 cm and 0–100 cm soils.






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Liu, JE, RM Han, HR Su, YP Wu, LM Zhang, CJ Richardson and GX Wang (2017). Effects of exotic Spartina alterniflora on vertical soil organic carbon distribution and storage amount in coastal salt marshes in Jiangsu, China. Ecological Engineering, 106. pp. 132–139. 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.05.041 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/15697.

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Curtis J. Richardson

Research Professor of Resource Ecology in the Division of Environmental Science and Policy

Curtis J. Richardson is Professor of Resource Ecology and founding Director of the Duke University Wetland Center in the Nicholas School of the Environment. Dr. Richardson earned his degrees from the State University of New York and the University of Tennessee.

His research interests in applied ecology focus on long-term ecosystem response to large-scale perturbations such as climate change, toxic materials, trace metals, flooding, or nutrient additions. He has specific interests in phosphorus nutrient dynamics in wetlands and the effects of environmental stress on plant communities and ecosystem functions and services. The objectives of his research are to utilize ecological principles to develop new approaches to environmental problem solving. The goal of his research is to provide predictive models and approaches to aid in the management of ecosystems.

Recent research activities: 1) wetland restoration of plant communities and its effects on regional water quality and nutrient biogeochemical cycles, 2) the development of ecosystem metrics as indices of wetland restoration success, 3) the effects of nanomaterial on wetland and stream ecosystem processes, 4) the development of ecological thresholds along environmental gradients, 5) wetland development trends and restoration in coastal southeastern United States, 6) the development of an outdoor wetland and stream research and teaching laboratory on Duke Forest, 7) differential nutrient limitation (DNL) as a mechanism to overcome N or P limitations across trophic levels in wetland ecosystems, and 8) carbon sequestration in coastal North Carolina pocosins.

Richardson oversees the main analytical lab in NSOE, which is open to students and faculty. Dr. Richardson has been listed in Who's Who in Science™ annually since 1989 and was elected President of the Society of Wetland Scientists in 1987-88. He has served on many editorial review committees for peer-reviewed scientific journals, and he is a past Chair of the Nicholas School Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy. Dr. Richardson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society of Wetland Scientists, and the Soil Science Society of America.

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