Inorganic carbon fluxes across the vadose zone of planted and unplanted soil mesocosms

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Carbon dioxide partial pressure in the soil gas (pCO2), alkalinity, soil moisture and temperature were measured over depth and time in unplanted and planted (barley) mesocosms. The dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) percolation flux was calculated from the pCO2, alkalinity and the water flux at the mesocosm bottom. Carbon dioxide exchange between the soil surface and the atmosphere was measured at regular intervals. The soil diffusivity was determined from soil radon-222 (222Rn) emanation rates and soil air Rn concentration profiles and was used in conjunction with measured pCO2 gradients to calculate the soil CO2 production. Carbon dioxide fluxes were modeled using the HP1 module of the Hydrus 1-D software. The Rs was controlled by production and diffusivity of CO2 in the soil. The DIC percolation flux was largely controlled by the pCO2 and the drainage flux due to low solution pH. Modeling suggested that increasing soil alkalinity during plant growth was due to nutrient buffering during root nitrate uptake.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7179-7192
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Soil processes, CO2, HP1

ID: 350863