Annual report from the SPECTRA Project

At the Annual UK – China CZO programme meeting in Guiyang the SPECTRA project presented an update of how work was going with in each work package to that point in time, 18 months into the project. The bullet points below summaries this presentation.

SPECTRA: Soil Processes and Ecological Services in the Karst Critical Zone of SW China – Prof Tim Quine and Prof Dali Guo

  • Intensive period of sample collection and analysis has been undertaken and progressing with sample sharing and the development of a database.
  • Work Package 1-3 are building detailed understanding of the Karst CZO structure and mechanisms
    • Work Package 1
      • High resolution DEM creation and soil depth measurements with 100 measurements of soil depth at each of the 64 plots in the Chenqi watershed.
      • Plant lead stoichiometric variations have been investigated for 4 vegetation types, primary forest, secondary forest, shrub and grasslands.
      • Soil stoichiometric variation with geology have been investigated at 64 plots using soil pits and rock cores to 3m.
    • Work Package 2
      • Ongoing work to characterise relationships between primary minerals and weathering products, relationship to porosity developments, and order of reactions.
      • 2016 soil profiles include some 137Cs, but no 210Pb or 10Be as yet.
      • Analysis of the relationships between 137Cs and total C, SOC, soil stock is underway.
    • Work Package 3
      • Results show that sloping farmland has the lowest microbial abundance while abandoned farmland has the largest and most stable microbial community.
      • Secondary forest has a stable but stressed microbial population, with Actinobacteria taking the fungal niche.
  • Work Package 4 has built understanding of controls on CZO function across a range of scales
  • Next stages will be to develop new quantitative understanding of CZO processes and function in Work Package 1-3 and build into models developed within Work Package 4.
  • Socio-economic, knowledge transfer and partnership aims remain a focus.