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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 3, p. 691-694
     
    Received: July 14, 2004
    Published: May, 2005


    * Corresponding author(s): jmkelly@vt.edu
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doi:10.2136/sssaj2004.0241

SOIL CARBON CHANGES AFTER 26 YEARS IN A CUMBERLAND PLATEAU HARDWOOD FOREST

  1. J. M. Kelly *ab and
  2. P. A. Maysc
  1. a Formerly at Natural Resource Ecology & Management Dep., Iowa State Univ
    b Currently at Virginia Tech, College of Natural Resources, 324 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
    c Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, TN. 37902-1499

Abstract

Concerns about global warming and discussions of possible mitigation measures have generated a need for information on changes in soil C over time. The objective of this study was to determine if there was a change in soil C concentration in an aggrading oak forest over a 26-yr interval. Using permanently identified points on the Camp Branch Experimental Watershed, soil samples were first collected in July of 1976 and archived. During July of 2002, 11 points covering 6 of the 18 soil series present on the watershed were resampled. The series chosen represent a range in topographic positions and forest cover types. In both 1976 and 2002, a bucket auger was used to collect samples at depth intervals of 0 to 10, 10 to 30, and 30 to 50 cm. Both sample sets were analyzed in 2002 using a loss on combustion technique to determine organic C concentration. A bootstrapping data analysis indicated an increase (95% confidence interval) in the concentration of C in the 0- to 10-cm depth. No change in C concentration occurred in the 10- to 30- or 30- to 50-cm samples. Average soil C concentration in the 0- to 10-cm samples increased from a mean of 20.8 g kg−1 in 1976 to 35.9 g kg−1 in 2002. Among soil series, concentrations ranged from 9.5 to 28.9 g kg−1 in 1976 and 22.1 to 64.7 g kg−1 in 2002. Although the sample numbers are limited, results indicate that average soil C concentration in the top 10 cm of the mineral soil increased by 73% at this site over a 26-yr interval.

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