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The impacts of urbanisation on urban soil carbon- a study of Manchester, UK

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNAbstract

Publication date8/05/2020
Host publicationGeophysical Research Abstracts 2020
Place of PublicationMunich, Germany
PublisherCopernicus GmbH (Copernicus Publications) on behalf of the European Geosciences Union (EGU)
Number of pages2
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event22nd EGU General Assembly 2020 -
Duration: 4/05/20208/05/2020


Conference22nd EGU General Assembly 2020

Publication series

NameGeophysical Research Abstracts
PublisherCopernicus GmbH (Copernicus Publications)
ISSN (Electronic)1029-7006


Conference22nd EGU General Assembly 2020


The study of anthropogenic soils is a growing area of interest, and as cities continue to expand, urban soils are heavily influenced by human activities. Urbanisation exhibits a wide range of impacts on soil, from buried horizons, compaction, sealing with impervious surfaces, additions of anthropogenic material to being largely man-made soils, or technosols. The properties of urban soil are further complicated by the addition of fertilisers, management strategies in greenspaces and the treatments of soil, including topsoil removal, during construction projects. Therefore, the properties and functions of anthropogenic soils differ notably to that of natural soils, and as such, there is a need to understand the dynamics of soil carbon in urban areas.Research on urban soil carbon has been relatively limited, however there is recent growth in this area due to its importance, firstly, as a carbon store contributing to climate regulation, and secondly, in relation to the potential of urban soil to support numerous ecosystem services. Urban soils are highly heterogeneous and anthropogenic carbon additions can come from many current or historical sources, such as charcoal used in old roads, coal ash from power stations, carbon from car tyres, as well as inorganic carbonates in limestone road foundations. Understanding the current stores of carbon, as well as how stable it is, is important to understand likely carbon dynamics and storage potential.This work presents a field study across Manchester (UK) where soil carbon data has been collected from soils across urban parks, greenspaces and from under sealed surfaces (roads and pavements). It provides carbon data for a variety of urban contexts and with high spatial variability. We will build on previous work from this field study by presenting i) a typology of urban soils according to anthropogenic content, ii) data for physical size fractionation to understand soil physical properties and texture, and iii) the carbon content of the size fractions to provide a proxy for understanding how labile or stable the carbon is. This will allow us to understand the impacts of soil sealing on the carbon content and build a picture of soil carbon stability across a range of urban situations.This research will contribute to the much-needed understanding on how soil carbon behaves in urban areas, and the implications of this for carbon storage in both sealed and urban greenspace soils.