Rice paddy soils are a quantitatively important carbon store according to a global synthesis

Rice paddies account for similar to 9% or the world's cropland area and are characterized by environmental conditions promoting soil organic carbon storage, methane emissions and to a lesser extent nitrous oxide emissions. Here, we synthesize data from 612 sites across 51 countries to estimate global carbon stocks in paddy soils and determine the main factors affecting paddy soil carbon storage. Paddy soils (0-100 cm) contain 18 Pg carbon worldwide. Paddy soil carbon stocks decrease with increasing mean annual temperature and soil pH, whereas mean annual precipitation and clay content had minor impacts. Meta-analysis shows that paddy soil carbon stocks can be increased through several management practices. However, greenhouse gas mitigation through paddy soil carbon storage is generally outweighed by increases in methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Our results emphasize the key role of paddies in the global carbon cycle, and the importance of paddy management in minimizing anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

Liu Y.L.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 , Ge T.D.3, 4, 6 , Van Groenigen K.J.7 , Yang Y.H.8 , Wang P.1, 2 , Cheng K.9 , Zhu Z.K.3, 4 , Wang J.K.1, 2 , Li Y. 3, 4 , Guggenberger G.3, 4, 5 , Sardans J.10, 11 , Penuelas J.10, 11 , Wu J.S.3, 4 , Kuzyakov Y. 12, 13
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  • 1 Shenyang Agr Univ, Key Lab Arable Land Conservat Northeast China, Minist Agr, Shenyang, Liaoning, Peoples R China
  • 2 Shenyang Agr Univ, Natl Engn Lab Efficient Utilizat Soil & Fertilize, Coll Land & Environm, Shenyang, Liaoning, Peoples R China
  • 3 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Subtrop Agr, Key Lab Agroecol Proc Subtrop Reg, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples R China
  • 4 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Subtrop Agr, Changsha Res Stn Agr & Environm Monitoring, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples R China
  • 5 Leibniz Univ Hannover, Inst Soil Sci, Hannover, Germany
  • 6 Ningbo Univ, State Key Lab Managing Biot & Chem Threats Qual &, Key Lab Biotechnol Plant Protect, Minist Agr & Zhejiang Prov,Inst Plant Virol, Ningbo, Peoples R China
  • 7 Univ Exeter, Coll Life & Environm Sci, Dept Geog, Exeter, Devon, England
  • 8 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Bot, State Key Lab Vegetat & Environm Change, Beijing, Peoples R China
  • 9 Nanjing Agr Univ, Inst Resource Ecosyst & Environm Agr, Nanjing, Jiangsu, Peoples R China
  • 10 UAB, Global Ecol Unit, CREAF, CSIC, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 11 CREAF, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • 12 Univ Goettingen, Dept Soil Sci Temperate Ecosyst, Dept Agr Soil Sci, Gottingen, Germany
  • 13 RUDN Univ, Agrotechnol Inst, Moscow, Russia
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