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Water Table Dynamics Control Carbon Losses from the Destabilization of Soil Organic Matter in a Small, Lowland Agricultural Catchment

Abstract : The biogeochemistry of soil organic matter (SOM) is driven by a combination of stabilization and destabilization mechanisms. Among the various ways in which SOM is lost, soil moisture controls the leaching of dissolved organic and inorganic carbon (DOC and DIC) and CO 2 fluxes (F CO2). The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of naturally occurring water table dynamics on the couplings between these three types of C losses. The DIC and DOC concentrations in the soil solutions and the F CO2 values at the soil surface were collected fortnightly over a nine-month period at four sampling points located along two topographic transects characterized by different water table dynamics. The water table depth, soil temperature and water-filled pore space (WFPS) were monitored at each site. Linear and nonlinear regressions were used to explore the couplings between C losses, WFPS and soil temperature. The dynamics of the water table seem to drive DOC solubilization, diffusion, and export mechanisms in addition to microbial processes and the equilibrium between DIC and CO 2. The main descriptors of this water table dynamic were the residence time, return time and number of oscillations of the water table. Considering both transects, F CO2 was positively correlated with DOC, which highlights the importance of substrate accessibility for SOM mineralization. This paper emphasizes the importance of the water table dynamic for the coupling between SOM carbon losses.
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Laurent Jeanneau, Pauline Buysse, Marie Denis, Gérard Gruau, Patrice Petitjean, et al.. Water Table Dynamics Control Carbon Losses from the Destabilization of Soil Organic Matter in a Small, Lowland Agricultural Catchment. Soil Systems, MDPI, 2020, 4 (2), 17 p. ⟨10.3390/soilsystems4010002⟩. ⟨hal-02429443⟩



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