The Role of Landform Evolution in the Changes of Pedosphere Carbon Dynamic

Document Type : Research Article


1 Postgraduate Researcher in Soil Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Associate Professor in Morphology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Professor in Soil Science , Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The formation and evolution of the alluvial fans is drastically affected by climate changes. These landforms play an important role in the exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and pedosphere. The aim of this study was to evaluate the way that the evolution of alluvial fan ages can affect soil carbon dynamics. This study measured factors controlling the C mineralization ratio and carbon dioxide flux within the soil environments belonging to different alluvial fan ages (including young fans, intermediate fans, and old fans) located at the base of the Aladagh Mountain hillslope. The intermediate alluvial fans exhibited more stable environments compared with other fans. Furthermore, the position of the intermediate fans on lowlands of the old fans increased the organic carbon concentration, exchangeable cations, and fine fraction. On the other hand, the lower transport capacity of the erosion processes decreased lower micro-aggregate losses in comparison with other fans. As a result, the organic carbon contained in the micro-aggregates is inaccessible to microbial decomposition over long-term timescale. The old fans exhibited a significant decrease of clay fraction, which could be due to their positions on uplands and their susceptibility to gully erosion processes, causing the transportation of a larger amount of OC-rich topsoil. This condition degrades soil structure and weakens aggregate stability within the old fans, encouraging more vulnerability of organic carbon to microbial decomposition. The geomorphological differences of the alluvial fan surfaces in different ages stimulated the variation of soil carbon dynamics. 

Graphical Abstract

The Role of Landform Evolution in the Changes of Pedosphere Carbon Dynamic


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Volume 11, Issue 3 - Serial Number 43
November 2022
Pages 85-100
  • Receive Date: 12 May 2022
  • Revise Date: 14 June 2022
  • Accept Date: 16 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 16 July 2022