eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
Estonian Journal of Ecology

Stocks and annual fluxes of organic carbon in the mineral soil cover of Estonia; pp. 251–263

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/eco.2011.4.01

Raimo Kõlli, Indrek Tamm, Alar Astover


Annual cycling of soil organic carbon (SOC) is the main driving force in the formation and functioning of soil cover. Therefore knowledge about it forms the scientific base for sustainable management and ecologically sound soil protection. Systematized parameters of the mean annual cycling of SOC by soils are analysed on the basis of the SOC stock densities (Mg ha–1) of 16 mineral soil groups. The SOC stocks according to soil groups for the soil cover (solum) as a whole and for their epipedon were calculated on the basis of mean SOC densities and their distribution area of soil types. In the Estonian mineral soil cover (32 351 km2) a total of 323 ± 46 Tg (1012 g) SOC is retained; 42% of this is sequestered into stabilized humus, 40% into unstable raw humus, and 18% into forest (grassland) floor and shallow peat layers. Of the total SOC stock, 75% is situated in biologically active epipedons and 25% in subsoil. The annual SOC inputs and outputs in natural soils, which were calculated on the basis of annual productivity, ranged from 0.2 to 3.6 Mg ha–1 yr–1. The influence of land management peculiarities on the annual cycling and balance of SOC has been demonstrated by our own experimental research, as well as by data published in the literature. In this work the pedo-ecological causal regularities of SOC sequestration in mineral soil cover (SOC concentration, soil thickness, moisture regime, texture, carbonate content), and agro-technological possibilities for its regulation (crops and their rotation, level of subsidization and soil amelioration) are discussed.


Callesen, I., Liski, J., Raulund-Rasmussen, K., Olsson, M. T., Tau-Strand, L., Vesterdal, L. & Westman, C. J. 2003. Soil carbon stores in Nordic well-drained forest soils – relationships with climate and texture class. Glob. Change Biol., 9, 358–370.

Chertov, O. G., Komarov, A. S., Bykhovets, S. S. & Kobak, K. I. 2002. Simulated soil organic matter dynamics in forests of the Leningrad administrative area, northwestern Russia. Forest Ecol. Manag., 169, 29–44.

DeBusk, W. F., White, J. R. & Reddy, K. R. 2001. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in wetland soils. In Modeling Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics for Soil Management (Shaffer, M. J., Ma, L. & Hansen, S., eds), pp. 27–53. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton.

FAO 2006. World Reference Base for Soil Resources. World Soil Resources Reports 103, Rome.

Halvorson, A. D., Wienhold, B. J. & Black, A. 2002. Tillage, nitrogen, and cropping system effects on soil carbon sequestration. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 66, 906–912.

Kätterer, T., Andren, O. & Persson, J. 2004. The impact of altered management on long-term agricultural carbon stocks – a Swedish case study. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys., 70, 179–187.

Kern, J. S., Turner, D. P. & Dodson, R. F. 1998. Spatial patterns of soil organic carbon pool size
in the Northwestern United States. In Soil Processes and the Carbon Cycle (Lal, R., Kimble, J. M., Follett, R. F. & Stewart, B. A., eds), pp. 29–43. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Kleja, D. B., Svensson, M., Majdi, H., Jansson, P.-E., Landvall, O., Bergkvist, B., Johansson, M.-B., Weslien, P., Truus, L., Lindroth, A. & Ågren, G. I. 2008. Pools and fluxes of carbon in three Norway spruce ecosystems along a climate gradient in Sweden. Biogeochemistry, 89, 7–25.

Kokk, R. 1995. Muldade jaotumus ja omadused. In Eesti. Loodus (Raukas, A., ed.), pp. 430–439. Valgus, Tallinn.

Kolchugina, T. P. & Vinson, T. S. 1998. Carbon cycle of terrestrial ecosystems of the former Soviet Union. Environmental Science and Policy, 1, 115–128.

Kõlli, R. 1988. Pedoecological analysis of phytoproductivity, biogeochemical fluxes of substances and humus status in natural and cultivated ecosystems. Doctoral thesis, Novosibirsk (in Russian).

Kõlli, R. 1992. Production and ecological characteristics of organic matter of forest soils. Eurasian Soil Sci., 24(6), 78–91.

Kõlli, R., Ellermäe, O., Köster, T., Lemetti, I., Asi, E. & Kauer, K. 2009. Stocks of organic carbon in Estonian soils. Estonian J. Earth Sci., 58, 95–108.

Kõlli, R., Köster, T., Rannik, K. & Tõnutare, T. 2009. Complex indicators reflecting soil functioning activity. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci., 172, 630–632.

Körchens, M., Weigel, A. & Schulz, E. 1998. Turnover of soil organic matter (SOM) and long-term balances – tools for evaluating sustainable productivity of soils. Z. Pflanzenernähr. Bodenk., 161, 409–424.

Kurganova, I. N., Yermolaev, A. M., Lopes de Gerenyu, V. O., Larionova, A. A., Kuzyakov, Ya., Keller, T. & Lange, S. 2007. Carbon balance in the soils of abandoned lands in Moscow region. Eurasian Soil Sci., 40(1), 51–58.

Lal, R., Kimble, J. & Follett, R. 1998. Land use and soil C pools in terrestrial ecosystems. In Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil (Lal, R., Kimble, J., Follett, R. & Stewart, B. A., eds), pp. 1–10. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Paustian, K., Collins, H. P. & Paul, E. A. 1997. Management controls on soil carbon. In Soil Organic Matter in Temperate Agroecosystems. Long-term Experiments in North America (Paul, E. A., Paustian, K., Elliot, E. T. & Cole, C. V., eds), pp. 15–49. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Percival, H. J., Parfitt, R. L. & Scott, N. A. 2000. Factors controlling soil carbon levels in New Zealand grasslands: Is clay content important? Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 64, 1623–1630.

Pulleman, M. M., Bouma, J., van Essen, E. A. & Meijles, E. W. 2000. Soil organic matter content as a function of different land use history. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 64, 689–693.

Reintam, L. 1993. Humus relationship as a representation of soil resilience in extensive agriculture. In Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Management in the Baltic Sea Region. 4th International Conference on System Analysis, Tallinn, Estonia, May 18–21, 1993, pp. 409–415. Copenhagen.

Reintam, L. 1997. Soil formation. In Geology and Mineral Resources of Estonia (Raukas, A. & Teedumäe, A., eds), pp. 298–306. Estonian Academy Publishers, Tallinn.

Robert, M. 2001. Soil Carbon Sequestration for Improved Land Management. World Soil Resources Reports 96. FAO, Rome.

Romanovskaya, A. A. 2006. Organic carbon in long-fallow lands of Russia. Eurasian Soil Sci., 39(1), 44–52.

Rosell, R. A. & Galantini, J. A. 1998. Soil organic carbon dynamics in native and cultivated eco­systems of South America. In Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil (Lal, R., Kimble, J., Follett, R. & Stewart, B. A., eds), pp. 11–33. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Rusco, E., Jones, R. & Bidoglio, G. 2001. Organic Matter in the Soils of Europe: Present Status and Future Trends. ESB, IES, JRC, Ispra.

Semenov, V. M., Ivannikova, L. A., Kuznetsova, T. V., Semenova, N. A. & Tulina, A. S. 2008. Mineralization of organic matter and the carbon sequestration capacity of zonal soils. Eurasian Soil Sci., 41(7), 717–730.

Sitaula, B. K., Bajracharya, R. M., Singh, B. R. & Solberg, B. 2004. Factors affecting organic carbon dynamics in soils of Nepal/Himalayan region – a review and analysis. Nutr. Cycl. Agroecosys., 70, 215–229.

Smith, P., Powlson, D. S., Glendining, M. J. & Smith, J. U. 1998. Opportunities and limitations
for C sequestration in European agricultural soils through changes in management. In Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil (Lal, R., Kimble, J., Follett, R. & Stewart, B. A., eds), pp. 143–152. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Vorobyova, L. A. 1998. Chemical Analysis of Soils. Moscow University Press, Moscow (in Russian).

West, T. O. & Post, W. M. 2002. Soil organic carbon sequestration rates by tillage and crop rotation: a global data analysis. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 66, 1930–1946.

Yakimenko, E. Y. 1998. Soil comparative evolution under grasslands and woodlands in the forest zone of Russia. In Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil (Lal, R., Kimble, J., Follett, R. & Stewart, B. A., eds), pp. 391–404. CRC Press, Boca Raton.

Back to Issue