Soil sealing causes substantial losses in C and N storage in urban soils under cool climate

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Lu , C , Kotze , J & Setälä , H 2020 , ' Soil sealing causes substantial losses in C and N storage in urban soils under cool climate ' , The Science of the Total Environment , vol. 725 , 138369 .

Title: Soil sealing causes substantial losses in C and N storage in urban soils under cool climate
Author: Lu, Changyi; Kotze, Johan; Setälä, Heikki
Contributor organization: Ecosystems and Environment Research Programme
Urban Ecosystems
Date: 2020-07-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 7
Belongs to series: The Science of the Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
Abstract: Urban soil can store large amounts of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). To accurately estimate C and N storage in urban soils, C and N contents underneath impervious surfaces - the most prevalent land cover type in cities - should be taken into account. To date, however, only few studies have reported urban soil C and N content underneath impervious surfaces, and no data exist for cities under cold/cool climates, such as the Boreal zone. Here, we studied, for the first time, the effects of sealing on soil C and N storage in a Boreal city. Sealed soils were sampled for physico-chemical and biological parameters from 13 sites in the city of Lahti, Finland, at three depths (0–10 and 45–55 cm, representing the construction layer composed of gravel, other moraine material and crushed rock, and the native soil layer beneath the ca. 1 m thick construction layer). Our results show that urban soils underneath impervious surfaces in Finland contain 11 and 31 times less C and N content, respectively, compared with warmer regions. This is due to a deep C and N deficient construction layer below sealed surfaces. Even though impervious surfaces cover ca. twice the area of pervious surfaces in the centre of Lahti, we estimate that only 6% and 4% of urban soil C and N, respectively, are stored underneath them. Furthermore, we found very little C and N accumulation underneath the sealed surfaces via root growth and/or leakage through ageing asphalt. Our results show that soil sealing, in concert with a massive top soil removal typical to cold climates, induces a considerable loss of C and N in Boreal urban areas.
Subject: CITIES
Construction layer
Impervious surfaces
Top soil removal
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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