Many will be astounded at the findings and the challenge they represent to the conventional view of soil carbon. Professor Snow Barlow, from the National Climate Change Adaptation Facility, says the findings mean planting trees to sequester carbon may become a more profitable option for farmers. He implies that the soils in question had been recently under trees. But no, the abstract tells us the soils n question "had been either recently reforested with Pinus pinaster or were under agriculture." Could grasses have deposited this carbon? No, only trees get a guernsey: "There may be value in actually putting those back to some form of woody vegetation which could sequester carbon, at the same time giving you those shelter and biodiversity benefits," he said."In some places in the landscape, particularly Western Australia, that might give you some salinity benefits as well."
The authors of the study have called for a reassessment of the current measurements used to judge soil carbon stores. "The paper demonstrates the need for a reassessment of the current arbitrary shallow soil sampling depths for assessing carbon stocks, a revision of global SOC estimates and elucidation of the composition and fate of deep carbon in response to land use and climate change," the paper says.
SOC levels when measured to 35m were "two to five times greater than would be reported with sampling to a depth of 0.5 m."
|Bob Wilson gets down to where deep soils in WA contain up to|
5 times as much carbon as previously thought. Tim Wiley was behind the camera.
Plant & Soil