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  • Soil Organic Carbon Storage (Sequestration) Principles and Management

    Potential Role for Recycled Organic Materials in Agricultural Soils of Washington State January 2015 Publication no. 15-07-005

  • Publication and Contact Information

    This report is available on the Department of Ecology’s website at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/SummaryPages/1507005.html For more information contact: Waste 2 Resources Program P.O. Box 47600 Olympia, WA 98504-7600

    Phone: (360) 407-6900

    Washington State Department of Ecology - www.ecy.wa.gov

    o Headquarters, Olympia 360-407-6000

    o Northwest Regional Office, Bellevue 425-649-7000

    o Southwest Regional Office, Olympia 360-407-6300

    o Central Regional Office, Yakima 509-575-2490

    o Eastern Regional Office, Spokane 509-329-3400 If you need this document in a format for the visually impaired, call the Waste 2 Resources Program at (360) 407-6900. Persons with hearing loss can call 711 for Washington Relay Service. Persons with a speech disability can call 877-833-6341.

  • Soil Organic Carbon Storage (Sequestration) Principles and

    Management

    Potential Role for Recycled Organic Materials in Agricultural Soils of

    Washington State

    by Canming Xiao

    Waste 2 Resources Program Washington State Department of Ecology

    Olympia, Washington

  • i

    Table of Contents Page

    Acknowledgments................................................................................................................v

    Executive Summary ........................................................................................................... vi

    Introduction ..........................................................................................................................1

    Soil Organic Matter, and its Pools and Roles in Soil Health ...............................................3 Soil and soil carbon ........................................................................................................3 Soil carbon pools............................................................................................................4 Soil organic matter roles ................................................................................................5 Soil organic matter fractions ..........................................................................................6

    Fast (labile or biological active soil organic matter) pool .....................................6 Slow (stable soil organic matter) pool ...................................................................7 Passive (recalcitrant soil organic matter) pool ......................................................7

    Factors Affecting the Soil Organic Carbon Storage (Sequestration) ...................................9 Soil properties ..............................................................................................................10

    Soil depth and soil type .......................................................................................10 Soil texture ...........................................................................................................10 Composition of soil minerals ...............................................................................11 Other soil properties ............................................................................................11

    Climate .........................................................................................................................12 Mean annual temperature (MAT) ........................................................................12 Mean annual precipitation (MAP) .......................................................................12

    Management practices .................................................................................................13

    Factors Limiting Soil Organic Carbon Storage (Sequestration) ........................................14 C saturation ..................................................................................................................14 Non-permanence ..........................................................................................................15

    Mechanisms of Soil Organic Matter Stabilization (Protection) .........................................17 Chemical stabilization ..................................................................................................17 Physical stabilization ...................................................................................................18 Biochemical stabilization .............................................................................................19

    Management Practices to Increase Soil Organic Carbon Storage (Sequestration) in Cropland ............................................................................................................................................20

    Conservation tillage and crop residue retention...........................................................21 Fallow and crop rotations.............................................................................................23 Pasture management ....................................................................................................24 Irrigated systems ..........................................................................................................24 Organic farming systems .............................................................................................25 Use of recycled organic materials ................................................................................25

    Compost ...............................................................................................................26

  • ii

    Biosolids ..............................................................................................................27 Animal manure ....................................................................................................30

    Climate of Washington State .......................................................................................32 Soil types in Washington State ....................................................................................36

    Alfisols ................................................................................................................38 Andisols ...............................................................................................................38 Aridisols ..............................................................................................................38 Entisols ................................................................................................................38 Histosols ..............................................................................................................38 Inceptisols ............................................................................................................38 Mollisols ..............................................................................................................39 Spodosols .............................................................................................................39 Ultisols .................................................................................................................39 Vertisols ...............................................................................................................39

    The distribution of soil orders in Washington State ....................................................40 Central Agricultural District ................................................................................40 East Central Agricultural District ........................................................................41 Northeast Agricultural District ............................................................................41 Southeast Agricultural District ............................................................................41 Western Agricultural District ..............................................................................41

    Selected characteristics of soils in Washington State ..................................................44 SOM content in Washington State soils ..............................................................44 Types of soil texture in Washington State soils ..................................................49 Soil pH ranges in Washington State soils ............................................................51

    Land Uses, Compost Production from Regulated Solid Waste Facilities, and Biosolids Generation and Management Practices in Washington State ............................................53

    Land uses in Washington State ....................................................................................53 Compost production from regulated solid waste facilities in Washington State .........58 Biosolids generation and its management practices in Washington State ...................61

    Conclusion .........................................................................................................................69

    References ..........................................................................................................................71

  • iii

    List of Figures and Tables Figures

    Page

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