- The effect of change in soil volume on organic matter distribution in a volcanic ash soil
- European Journal of Soil Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 67 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Volcanic ash soil contains large stocks of organic matter per unit area. A large proportion of organic matter is stored in the subsoil; therefore, a thorough understanding of its vertical distribution is needed to predict the effects of change in climate and land use. Faunal bioturbation is often cited as the dominant process that affects the vertical distribution of organic matter. An additional but often overlooked process is change in the volume of the soil. Such change might affect the vertical distribution of organic matter by changing the position of the soil surface, which can affect the soil-forming processes related to depth, such as weathering, decomposition, bioturbation and rooting. We calculated the change in volume with geochemical mass balance equations, and showed the effect of change in soil volume on the vertical distribution of organic matter using a dynamic model. Then we evaluated the plausibility of the model concept with an independent model for parameter identification and through a model sensitivity analysis. Results show that volume change is a major soil-forming process that determines the vertical distribution of organic matter in volcanic ash soil as the active bioturbation zone moves upwards in response to soil thickening.
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