Soil organic carbon storage and changes with reduction in agricultural activities in Hong Kong

H. B. Zhang, Y. M. Luo*, Ming Hung WONG, Q. G. Zhao, G. L. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Information on carbon (C) storages and the changes under the shifting of land use is of particular interest for estimating the gains and losses of soil C at a regional scale. The present study attempted to quantify the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in the Hong Kong soils for the first time as well as to demonstrate the changes of SOC density after the transformations of paddy fields to other land usages due to the decline of agricultural activities. SOC storages were estimated by combining the land-use areas and profile data derived from our recent soil survey (248 samples were collected) and other reports. The results indicated that SOC densities to the upper 100 cm ranged from 25.06 Mg ha- 1 of urban park land to 288.65 Mg ha- 1 of swamp and mangrove, and total SOC storage in the upper 100 cm was 8.8548 × 106 t, approximately 0.51% of that in the soils of Guangdong Province China. Approximately 46.5% to 70.5% of the SOC pool was stored in the upper 40-cm depth, and SOC densities were much consistent in depth distributions under different land uses. Different changes of SOC density were evidenced after the conversion from paddy fields to orchards, vegetable land and grassland. The uncertainties were also discussed for lack of the data from a long term survey at a particular location.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-419
Number of pages8
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Soil Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Depth distribution
  • Hong Kong
  • Land use
  • Soil organic carbon (SOC)


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