Spatial Variation of Tundra Soil Organic Carbon Along the Coastline of Northern Alaska

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Marine Science


Coastal erosion plays an important role in the terrestrial-marine-atmosphere carbon cycle. This study was conducted to explore the spatial variation of soil organic carbon (SOC) and other soil properties along the coastline of northern Alaska. A total of 769 soil samples, from 48 sites along over 1800-km of coastline in northern Alaska, were collected during the summers of 2005 and 2006. A geological information system (GIS) and a geostatistical method (ordinary kriging) were coupled to investigate the spatial variation of SOC along the coastline. SOC have a big variation ranging from 0.8 to 187.4 kg C m(-2) with the greatest value observed in the middle and lowest in the northeastern coastline. Compared to the I-D model or the I-D model with shortcut distance, the 2-D model was more reasonable to describe SOC along the coastline. The Gaussian correlation structure model had less prediction error than other examined geostatistical models. All mapping results also indicate that soils of the northwestern coastline stored greater SOC than those of the northeastern coastline. The estimation of total SOC along the coastline of northern Alaska was 6.86 10(7) kg m(-1). The prediction errors indicated that greater errors were observed in both ends of the coastline than were observed in other fractions, although the range was from 0.739 to 0.779. Our study suggests that the isotropic 2-D model without a trend, with the nugget effect and the Gaussian correlation structure is a useful tool to investigate SOC in large scale. Results of stable isotope of organic matter indicate that SOC are mainly derived from C3 plant, which ranged from - 30 parts per thousand. to - 22 parts per thousand.. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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