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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-484
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-484
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Dec 2016

Submitted as: research article | 07 Dec 2016

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Carbon budget assessment of an irrigated wheat and maize rotation cropland with high groundwater table in the North China Plain

Quan Zhang1,2, Hui-Min Lei2, Da-Wen Yang2, Lihua Xiong1, and Beijing Fang2 Quan Zhang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Abstract. Carbon sequestration of cropland has the potential to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions. To understand such sequestration of an irrigated wheat-maize rotation cropland with high groundwater table in the North China Plain, the carbon budget and its components are estimated with a comprehensive field experiment by combining eddy covariance technique, soil respiration experiment differentiating heterotrophic and below-ground autotrophic respirations, and biometric measurements in a relatively wet year from October 2010 to October 2011. In the experimental period of a whole winter-wheat and summer-maize cycle, the Net Ecosystem Exchange, Gross Primary Productivity, Ecosystem Respiration, soil heterotrophic respiration, below-ground autotrophic respiration and above-ground autotrophic respiration are −437.9, 1078.2, 640.4, 376.8, 135.5 and 128.0 gC m−2, respectively for wheat season, and are −238.8, 779.7, 540.8, 292.2, 115.4 and 133.2 gC m−2, respectively for maize season. The experiment allows for estimations of Net Primary Productivity, Net Ecosystem Productivity and Net Biome Productivity. The Net Biome Productivity are 58.8 and 3.9 gC m−2 for wheat and maize season, indicating that wheat is a carbon sink and maize is close to carbon neutral. However, compensated by the net ecosystem carbon release in two rotation periods, Net Biome Productivity of the whole wheat-maize rotation cycle is 12.8 gC m−2 yr−1 in the experimental year, indicating this cropland remains a weak carbon sink under the specific climatic conditions and field conditions with a high groundwater table. The cropland has a higher ecosystem carbon use efficiency (CUE) than other terrestrial ecosystems, indicating that the agro-ecosystem is more efficient in harvesting CO2 from the atmosphere. This irrigated wheat-maize rotation cropland with high groundwater table has higher CUE than other croplands, implying that the cropland management of full irrigation and fertilization promotes carbon accumulation in crops.

Quan Zhang et al.
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Quan Zhang et al.
Quan Zhang et al.
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Short summary
With the increasing concern about global warming, investigating carbon cycle becomes imperative to predict future climate trend. As cropland has great potentials in mitigating carbon emissions, therefore we designed a comprehensive carbon budget assessment in a typical cropland in North China Plain, the results indicate the high groundwater table contributes to carbon sink of this cropland. The conclusion confirms that field management has profound effect on cropland carbon cycle.
With the increasing concern about global warming, investigating carbon cycle becomes imperative...
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