What Should we do in the Context of Land Use Change Occurring Frequently in China?

Mingxuan Cai, Wenbing Tan, Lei


China’s effort to mitigate soil organic carbon (SOC) loss caused by rapid land use changes over the last two decades faces great challenges. Generally, land use change projects in China have been performed without considering the mechanisms involved in the link between land use change and SOC dynamic. Such situation will likely increase the climatic and environmental risks brought by land use changes. In this paper, we illustrate why most studies over the past several decades in China have been unable to provide significant guiding information for what kind of land use can be adopted to benefit the climate and ecological environments. In addition, we recommend the combination of soil organic matter fractionation with radiocarbon assessment, which researchers are working on to better predict the dynamic trends of SOC under land use change and present several proposals in regard to how to sequester more carbon in soils after land use change.

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