African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6576

Full Length Research Paper

Dissolved organic carbon and its controls of urban soil in Hefei, Eastern China

  Xiao Tao1, Hongfei Zhao1, Kai Zhang1,2 and Xiaoniu Xu1*        
  1Department of Forestry, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China. 2Post-doctoral station, Tianjin TEDA Landscape Construction Co., Ltd., Tianjin 300457, China.
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 February 2012
  •  Published: 12 May 2012



Soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) plays an important role in the biogeochemical cycling and energy transformation in the ecosystem. The objectives of the study were to assess the impacts of land use types and planation modes on carbon dynamics and to determine the major soil factors influencing the DOC concentration in urban soils. The spatial pattern of DOC was studied with soil sample collection from a suburban natural forest park and urban green-lands (including campus green-land, park green-land, residential green-land, roadside green-land and factory green-land) in Hefei, Eastern China. The results showed that green-land types significantly impacted the DOC concentration (P<0.05) and that DOC concentration in suburban forest (44.28 mg kg-1) was obviously higher than that in the urban site (27.45 mg kg-1). The soil under arbor-lawn mode had the highest DOC concentration with an average of 44.96 mg kg-1 at the 0 to 30 cm soil depth. Land use change resulted in an obvious variation in soil DOC concentration (0 to 30 cm) across the environmental gradient. Results from regression analysis indicated that soil DOC concentration was significantly and positively correlated with soil moisture, soil NH4+-N, microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), and negatively correlated with soil pH, bulk density, electric conductivity and total phosphorus. It is suggested that the expansion of the urban area may lead to the loss of DOC in the soil.


Key words: Urban soil, dissolved organic carbon, green-land types, planation mode, plant-soil interaction.