Abstract: As a basic component of the Earth’s surface system, soil plays an important role in storing nutrients, maintaining plant growth, conserving water resources, stabilizing and buffering environmental changes. Scientific and standardized survey and monitoring can be used to obtain the physical, chemical and biological attribute of soil, which is of great significance for improving regional soil property databases and revealing the spatial distribution of soil. In this study, during July and August 2013, we conducted standardized field investigations and soil sample collection tests on nine typical natural forest ecosystems, including tropical rain forests, subtropical broad-leaved forests, temperate broad-leaved forests, temperate coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests, and cold temperate coniferous forests in the north-south transect of China. A comprehensive dataset of soil properties was built, which covers the main forest types in the northern hemisphere. The dataset contains a lot of basic information, including sampling location, climate environment, vegetation type, biomass, soil type, soil environment (pH, soil temperature and moisture), soil mechanical composition (sand, clay, silt), soil nutrients (organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus), soil organic carbon components (easy-oxidized organic carbon, microbial carbon, dissolved organic carbon), soil humic carbon components (humic acid carbon, fulvic acid carbon, humin carbon, extractable humus carbon), and soil element content (K, Ca, Na, Mg, Al, Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn). The dataset provides important information for studies of the distribution and control mechanisms of forest soils. It also provides basic data for optimizing and developing the forest ecosystem process model.
Keywords: north-south transect of eastern China; forest ecosystem; natural forest; soil property