Soil carbon stocks in wetlands of New Zealand and impact of land conversion since European settlement

Ausseil, A-G E, Jamali, H, Clarkson, B R and Golubiewski, N E 2015, Soil carbon stocks in wetlands of New Zealand and impact of land conversion since European settlement, Wetlands ecology and management, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 947-961, doi: 10.1007/s11273-015-9432-4.

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Title Soil carbon stocks in wetlands of New Zealand and impact of land conversion since European settlement
Author(s) Ausseil, A-G E
Jamali, H
Clarkson, B R
Golubiewski, N E
Journal name Wetlands ecology and management
Volume number 23
Issue number 5
Start page 947
End page 961
Total pages 15
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 0923-4861
Keyword(s) Freshwater wetlands
Carbon stocks
National scale
Land-use change
Summary Freshwater wetlands provide a range of ecosystem services, one of which is climate regulation. They are known to contain large pools of carbon (C) that can be affected by land-use change. In New Zealand, only 10 % of the original freshwater wetlands remain due to conversion into agriculture. This study presents the first national estimation of C stocks in freshwater wetlands based on the compilation of soil carbon data from 126 sites across the country. We estimated C stocks for two soil sample types (mineral and organic) in different classes of wetlands (fen, bog, swamp, marsh, pakihi and ephemeral), and extrapolated C stocks to national level using GIS. Bogs had high C content and low bulk densities, while ephemeral wetlands were the reverse. A regression between bulk density and C content showed a high influence of the soil type. Average C densities (average ± standard error) were 1,348 ± 184 t C ha−1 at full peat depth (average of 3.9 m) and 102 ± 5 t C ha−1 (0.3 m depth) for organic soils, and 121 ± 24 t C ha−1 (0.3 m depth) for mineral soils. At national level, C stocks were estimated at 11 ± 1 Mt (0.3 m depth) and 144 ± 17 Mt (full peat depth) in organic soils, and 23 ± 1 Mt (0.3 m depth) in mineral soils. Since European settlement, 146,000 ha of organic soils have been converted to agriculture, which could release between 0.5 and 2 Mt CO2 year−1, equivalent to 1–6 % of New Zealand’s total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11273-015-9432-4
Field of Research 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Springer
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
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