Current estimates of soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks are calculated by multiplying the SOC density times the planimetric area of an individual cell. In the reality, the land surface is not always in horizontal planes, but sometimes in tilted planes, especially in mountainous regions. The differences between a horizontal plane and a tilted plane are controlled by slope, so we investigated the effect of inclination on the SOC stocks calculation using HWSD dataset in mountainous regions including the Alps, the Andes, the Plateau of Tibet and the Rocky Mountains. Our results showed that inclination effect strongly influenced SOC stocks calculation in mountainous regions and previous SOC stocks estimates were underestimated. SOC stocks increased between 4.04% and 15.00% when 90 m resolution elevation data was used for accounting the inclination effect, which was much higher than that of using 1 km resolution elevation (0.90% to 5.00%). Therefore, we suggest that it is necessary to consider the inclination effect in the calculation of SOC stocks in mountainous regions.
Geoderma – Elsevier
Published: Jun 15, 2018
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