Application of the carbon-13 (13C) tracer technique to soil organic carbon emission is relatively new to many researchers and only a few results have been reported to date. This mini-review paper cites some well-documented research in organic carbon pool studies using the 13C tracer technique. The 13C abundance in soil usually remains at a stable level under a set of natural conditions. Variations in 13C reflect different sources and types of organic components from natural environments. An important feature of 13C discrimination in the soil C pool has permitted researchers to assess the dynamic nature of the pool. This discrimination may reflect a selective preference at early stage of residue decomposition by soil microbes. Crop rotation and residue input to humic substances can change the 13C abundance, which is a possible way to estimate soil C emission. However, the dynamic relationship between 13C abundance in the soil C pool and C emission is still in an early stage of development. Restrictions due to requirement of long-term experiments and duration of vegetation changes may affect its wide-spread adoptions in C emission studies.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1997|
- C abundance
- C discrimination
- Soil organic carbon