Volume 75, Issue 3 e13503
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Quantifying aboveground biomass, soil organic carbon and erosion with a detailed crop map and PESERA model in the Yangtze River Basin

Jichen Zhou

Jichen Zhou

Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Key Laboratory of Soil Plant Interactions of MOE, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Contribution: Conceptualization, Writing - original draft, Visualization, Validation, ​Investigation, Data curation, Formal analysis

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Jantienne Baartman

Jantienne Baartman

Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

Contribution: Conceptualization, Methodology, Software, Writing - review & editing, Supervision, Validation, Data curation, ​Investigation, Formal analysis, Writing - original draft

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Yinan Ning

Yinan Ning

Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Key Laboratory of Soil Plant Interactions of MOE, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Contribution: Writing - review & editing, Visualization, Conceptualization, Supervision, Formal analysis

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João Pedro Nunes

João Pedro Nunes

Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

Contribution: Methodology, Software, Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Supervision, Writing - review & editing

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Hedwig van Delden

Hedwig van Delden

Research Institute for Knowledge Systems, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Contribution: Methodology, Software, Formal analysis, Visualization

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Roel Vanhout

Roel Vanhout

Research Institute for Knowledge Systems, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Contribution: Methodology, Software, Visualization, Formal analysis

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Xinping Chen

Xinping Chen

Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Contribution: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Writing - review & editing, Supervision

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Coen Ritsema

Coen Ritsema

Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, Netherlands

Contribution: Conceptualization, Supervision, Writing - review & editing, Funding acquisition

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Lihua Ma

Corresponding Author

Lihua Ma

Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Correspondence

Xuejun Liu, Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Key Laboratory of Soil Plant Interactions of MOE, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Email: [email protected]

Lihua Ma, Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Tiansheng Road 02, Chongqing 400715, China.

Email: [email protected]

Contribution: Writing - review & editing, Conceptualization, Supervision, Funding acquisition

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Xuejun Liu

Corresponding Author

Xuejun Liu

Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Key Laboratory of Soil Plant Interactions of MOE, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

Correspondence

Xuejun Liu, Beijing Key Laboratory of Farmland Soil Pollution Prevention and Remediation, Key Laboratory of Soil Plant Interactions of MOE, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, National Academy of Agriculture Green Development, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.

Email: [email protected]

Lihua Ma, Interdisciplinary Research Center for Agriculture Green Development in Yangtze River Basin, College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Tiansheng Road 02, Chongqing 400715, China.

Email: [email protected]

Contribution: Funding acquisition, Conceptualization, Writing - review & editing, Project administration, Resources, Formal analysis

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First published: 22 May 2024

Abstract

Soil erosion represents a primary threat to soil systems with adverse implications for ecosystem services, crop production, potable water and carbon storage. While numerous studies have quantified the spatial distribution of aboveground Biomass (AGB), soil erosion and soil organic carbon (SOC) in the Yangtze River Basin (YRB), limited attention has been given to assessing the contributions of different land use types and especially crop types to AGB, soil erosion and SOC. In most studies, cropland is taken as a land use class, while detailed crop types and rotation patterns, and their effect on soil erosion and SOC, vary significantly. In this study, we used the Metronamica model to generate a detailed crop rotation and distribution map across the YRB and subsequently employed the Pan-European Soil Erosion Risk Assessment (PESERA) model to simulate the spatial distribution of AGB, soil erosion and SOC on a monthly basis. PESERA model simulations indicate an average soil erosion rate across the entire YRB of 7.7 ton/ha/yr, with erosion hotspots concentrated in the Sichuan Basin and the central-southern regions. The southwestern region and western Sichuan show elevated levels of AGB and SOC, while the eastern plains display lower levels. Erosion rates are lowest in areas designated as artificial land, pasture and grassland, whereas croplands and fruit tree plantations experience the highest erosion rates. In terms of crop types, the highest erosion rates and lowest AGB are observed under fallow and potato cultivation, while the lowest erosion rates and highest AGB are found in rice-wheat rotation fields. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study taking detailed crop types and patterns into account while evaluating their effect at a relatively large scale (i.e., YRB). These findings can help to develop sustainable soil management and (cropping) conservation strategies.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

DATA AVAILABILITY STATEMENT

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.