Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elisa Lopez-Capel,
Professor David Manning
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
ABSTRACT: Soil holds 75% of the total organic carbon (TOC) stock in terrestrial ecosystems. This comprises ecosystem-derived organic carbon (OC) and black carbon (BC), a recalcitrant product of the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels and biomass. Urban topsoils are often enriched in BC from historical emissions of soot and have high TOC concentrations, but the contribution of BC to TOC throughout the urban soil profile, at a regional scale is unknown. We sampled 55 urban soil profiles across the North East of England, a region with a history of coal burning and heavy industry. Through combined elemental and thermogravimetic analyses, we found very large total soil OC stocks (31−65 kg m−2 to 1 m), exceeding typical values reported for UK woodland soils. BC contributed 28−39% of the TOC stocks, up to 23 kg C m−2 to 1 m, and was affected by soil texture. The proportional contribution of the BC-rich fraction to TOC increased with soil depth, and was enriched in topsoil under trees when compared to grassland. Our findings establish the importance of urban ecosystems in storing large amounts of OC in soils and that these soils also capture a large proportion of BC particulates emitted within urban areas.
Author(s): Edmondson JL, Stott I, Potter J, Lopez-Capel E, Manning DAC, Gaston KJ, Leake JR
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Environmental Science and Technology
Print publication date: 21/07/2015
Online publication date: 26/06/2015
Acceptance date: 11/06/2015
Date deposited: 25/08/2015
ISSN (print): 0013-936X
ISSN (electronic): 1520-5851
Publisher: American Chemical Society
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