SoilC - Measurement and Modelling of Soil Carbon Stocks and Stock Changes in Irish Soils

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Resource or Project Abstract

This SoilC project has thus developed a national quantitative baseline understanding of soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations and soil carbon stocks in Ireland to a depth of 50 cm. This will directly assist in understanding many facets of terrestrial carbon management and carbon changes over time. The dissolved organic carbon DOC component of this project is the first such national dataset for the Republic of Ireland. In addition, this research has created the first Irish dataset of bulk density for Irish soils and land uses to a depth of 50 cm. This dataset can be utilised in many facets of future soils research including the extrapolation of the National Soils Database into carbon stocks. Using a subset of the results herein, regression equations were generated to explain the relationship between soil organic carbon concentrations and loss on ignition (LOI) data. The use of such equations to predict organic carbon is warranted due to the high cost of dry combustion analyses compared to the relative ease of loss on ignition techniques. This dataset allows Irish soils researchers to more accurately estimate the % SOC for soils and conditions specific to Ireland.

A number of key outcomes from this research are:
·Soil type is a better predictor of soil carbon concentration than land use. Land use is a broad categorization that masks the effect of soil type, in part because soil type determines land use to a large degree.
·The national soil carbon stock as calculated in this research is greater than previously estimated.
·The national SOC stock to a 50 cm depth, calculated from carbon densities and the known spatial extents of the various land uses and soil types, were very similar at 1061.5 Tg and 1063.6 Tg, respectively.
·Dissolved organic carbon concentrations in stream waters have a seasonal trend due to temperature and precipitation. DOC concentrations are much higher in peatland catchments. DOC was also higher in late Summer/early Autumn.
·Different soil types have significantly different relationships between % LOI and % SOC. An interactive website calculator has been established to facilitate the conversion of LOI data into % SOC for various soil types

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Contact Information for This Resource

Prof Gerard Kiely
University College Cork

Dr. Owen Carton
Environmental and Land Development Department

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Data, Files, Information Objects Related To This Project Resource

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Att: 1    STRIVE_35_Kiely_SoilOrganicC_fin.pdf  (1.52 Mb)
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_35_Kiely_SoilOrganicC_syn_prn.pdf  (11.93 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_35_Kiely_SoilOrganicC_syn_web.pdf  (3.33 Mb)
Att 4    FarmLevel_CarbonFractionation__04-Sept-08.xls   (0.02 Mb)
Att 5    SoilC_FinalData_04-Sept-08.xls   (0.2 Mb)
Att 6    DOC_FinalData_04-Sept-08.xls   (0.03 Mb)
Att 7    Dripsey_InSituSpatialVariability__04-Sept-08.xls   (0.07 Mb)
Att 8    SoilC-Location-of-Sites.jpg   (0.11 Mb)
Att 9    SoilC-Location-ofSteams.jpg   (0.07 Mb)
Att 10    SoilC_Archive_metadata.doc   (0.02 Mb)
Att 11    SoilC_Archive_information.xls   (0.05 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Kiely, G. Carton, O.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationSoilC - Measurement and Modelling of Soil Carbon Stocks and Stock Changes in Irish Soils
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL
Unique Identifier8f7427d4-65d6-102c-9c91-0a68ec663af0
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-07-16

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Kiely, G. Carton, O.   "SoilC - Measurement and Modelling of Soil Carbon Stocks and Stock Changes in Irish Soils". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland (Last Accessed: 2024-07-16)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL
Resource KeywordsSoilC Soil Carbon Stocks dissolved organic carbon (DOC)
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2005-S-MS-26
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeLand-use, Soils, and Transport
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceIn the event of the download datasets, data, or information resources being used in a journal article or other means of publication the original authors should be informed of this usage and an appropriate acknowledgement or citation is included within the published article. The EPA advise that this acknowledgement should take one of the following forms dependent upon how heavily the published work relates to the downloaded data:
* Co-Authorship(s) for the original author(s)* Written acknowledgement within the body of the article* Written acknowledgement by means of the inclusion of a bibliography entry which clearly cites the original authors.

There are datasets available from this project. However they will not be publicly available until late 2009 or early 2010 at the latest. If you wish to obtain access to these datasets it is advisable to contact the responsible parties for this data resource.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 11
Project Start Date Monday 3rd April 2006 (03-04-2006)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 3rd April 2006 (03-04-2006)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 31st December 2007 (31-12-2007)
Published on SAFERThursday 19th March 2009 (19-03-2009)
Date of Last EditMonday 15th October 2018 at 12:14:03 (15-10-2018)
Datasets or Files Updated On Thursday 28th January 2010 at 10:23:43 (28-01-2010)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
Soil samples were collected at 71 locations throughout Ireland to a depth of 50 cm. Sixty two of these sites were chosen randomly (with the assistance of Dr. Chaosheng Zhang, NUIG) from the Irish National Soil Database?s (NSD) 1310 nationwide sites ( The SoilC project was designed to revisit some sixty two NSD sites that had been previously sampled for carbon to a depth of 10 cm. A further nine sites were sampled, including eight grassland soils and one undisturbed blanket peatland in southwest Ireland. These additional grassland sites were selected for work package 3, ?to measure a range of key soil properties at 10 grassland sites?. The peatland site was sampled in the interest of long term studies being carried out there by this research group (Hydromet UCC). The 71 sites represent five land cover types (arable, grassland, peatland, rough grazing and forest) and nine soil types (brown earth, n = 9; brown podzolic, n = 10; gley, n = 10; grey brown podzolic, n = 16; lithosol, n = 2; peat, n = 15; peaty gley, n = 2; peaty podzol, n = 5; podzol, n = 1). Dissolved organic carbon was measured in 55 stream locations nationwide. These streams were chosen as the lowest order streams, with easy road access, in closest proximity to the soil sampling sites. Grab water samples were collected, at the 55 sites, seven times in a twelve month period. The sampling times are reported in hydrological days of year 2006/07. Day 1 of the hydrological year for Ireland is October 1st. Sampling began in November (Day 40) and ended in October the following year (Day 369). Day 369 could equally be considered day 4 of the next hydrologic year.

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The objective of this research was to estimate soil carbon stocks in representative Irish soils (field sampling and laboratory soils analysis) and to enable future modelling of soil carbon cycling in Irish grasslands in order to estimate the potential for carbon sequestration in Irish grassland soils under contemporary and future management and climatic conditions.
Supplementary Information
Field collections of soils were completed from May 2006 to February 2007. Soil samples for chemical analyses were collected at each site at 9 points on a 20 x 20 meter square plot that was centered on the NSD GPS point given. We used a half inch Dutch auger. Soils were collected for a continuous profile from the surface to 50cm deep broken in the following sections: 0-10cm, 10-25cm and 25-50cm deep. Soil samples were bulked in the field to represent one replicate soil sample per depth (0-10cm, 10-25cm, 25-50cm) per site.

The fresh soil samples were contained in plastic sample bags and returned to the lab for cold storage within one week of collection. All soils were stored in a refrigerated storage room until being dried. Soils were dried in aluminum boats at 50 °C in a forced air oven. Drying generally took 3 days. Once dried the soils were physically crushed and sieved to pass through a 2mm sieve. This removed the roots and stones >2mm in size.

The remaining soils were archived. Dried sieved soils were stored in 500ml glass jars with snap tops and rubber seals. The jars were each labeled with the SoilC/NSD site number, the depth of soil sampled, as well as the soil type and land use class at the site. Each jar is labeled twice, once using a white sticker outside the jar and once using pencil on paper inside the top of the jar. The actual amount (weight) stored varies by site and soil type.

We would like to thank the postdoctoral and postgraduate students of the Hydromet group at UCC and in particular Dr. Ken Byrne, Mr. Michael Mishurov, Mr. Michael Wellock, Ms.Christina LaPerle, Mr. Jimmy Casey and Mr. Kilian Murphy. We would also like to thank: Mr. Ger Morgan, Dr. Xie Quishi and Mr. Stuart Warner of the Aquatic Services Unit at the UCC Environmental Research Institute for the DOC laboratory analysis. We would like to thank all of those at Teagasc including: Dr. Noel Culleton, Dr. Deirdre Fay, Dr. Gaelene Kramers and Dr. Teresa Cowman. We are very appreciative of the help of Dr. Chaosheng Zhang of University College Galway. We also wish to thank the UCD CreoBeo group, specifically Olaf Schmitt, Christina Hazard, Joe Dillon, Peter Mullin and Aidan Keith.
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