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Organic matter cycling along geochemical, geomorphic and disturbance gradients in forests and cropland of the African Tropics - project TropSOC database version 1.0
Van Oost, K.
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The African Tropics are hotspots of modern-day land-use change and are, at the same time, of great relevance for the cycling of carbon (C) and nutrients between plants, soils and the atmosphere. However, the consequences of land conversion on biogeochemical cycles are still largely unknown as they are not studied in a landscape context that defines the geomorphic, geochemically and pedological framework in which biological processes take place. Thus, the response of tropical soils to disturbance by erosion and land conversion is one of the great uncertainties in assessing the carrying capacity of tropical landscapes to grow food for future generations and in predicting greenhouse gas fluxes (GHG) from soils to the atmosphere and, hence, future earth system dynamics. Here, we describe version 1.0 of an open access database created as part of the project “Tropical soil organic carbon dynamics along erosional disturbance gradients in relation to variability in soil geochemistry and land use” (TropSOC). TropSOC v1.0 contains spatial and temporal explicit data on soil, vegetation, environmental properties and land management collected from 136 pristine tropical forest and cropland plots between 2017 and 2020 as part of several monitoring and sampling campaigns in the Eastern Congo Basin and the East African Rift Valley System. The results of several laboratory experiments focusing on soil microbial activity, C cycling and C stabilization in soils complement the dataset to deliver one of the first landscape scale datasets to study the linkages and feedbacks between geology, geomorphology and pedogenesis as controls on biogeochemical cycles in a variety of natural and managed systems in the African Tropics. The hierarchical and interdisciplinary structure of the TropSOC database allows for linking a wide range of parameters and observations on soil and vegetation dynamics along with other supporting information that may also be measured at one or more levels of the hierarchy. TropSOC’s data marks a significant contribution to improve our understanding of the fate of biogeochemical cycles in dynamic and diverse tropical African (agro-)ecosystems. TropSOC v1.0 can be accessed through the supplementary material provided as part of this manuscript or as a separate download via the websites of the Congo Biogeochemistry observatory and the GFZ data repository where version updates to the database will be provided as the project develops.
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7217
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