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Forests 2016, 7(12), 320; doi:10.3390/f7120320

SOM and Biomass C Stocks in Degraded and Undisturbed Andean and Coastal Nothofagus Forests of Southwestern South America

1
Department of Silviculture, Faculty of Forest Sciences, University of Concepción, Victoria 631, Casilla 160-C, Concepción 4030000, Chile
2
Soils and Natural Resources Department, Faculty of Agronomy, University of Concepción, Vicente Méndez 595, Casilla 537, Chillan 3812120, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Philip J. Polglase and Mark E. Harmon
Received: 31 August 2016 / Revised: 26 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Forests Carbon Fluxes and Sequestration)
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Abstract

Grazing and over-exploitation can severely degrade soil in native forests. Considering that productivity in ecosystems is related to soil organic matter (SOM) content and quality, the objectives of this study were to: (1) determine the influence of degraded (DEF), partly-degraded (PDF), and undisturbed (UNF) Nothofagus forests on the stocks of carbon (C) in tree biomass and SOM; (2) evaluate fractions of SOM as indicators of sustainable management; and (3) use the Century model to determine the potential gains of soil organic C (SOC). The forests are located in the Andes and Coastal mountains of southern Chile. The SOM was fractionated to separate the light fraction (LF), macroaggregates (>212 µm), mesoaggregates (212–53 µm), and microaggregates (<53 µm). In two measurement periods, the SOC stocks at 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm depths in macroaggregates were on average 100% higher in the Andean UNF, and SOC was over twice as much at 20–40 cm depth in Andean DEF. Century simulations showed that improved silvopastoral management would gradually increase total SOC in degraded soils of both sites, especially the Ultisol with a 15% increase between 2016 and 2216 (vs. 7% in the Andisol). Greater SOC in macroaggregates (p < 0.05) of UNF indicate a condition of higher sustainability and better management over the years. View Full-Text
Keywords: Andisol; century model; Nothofagus obliqua; soil degradation; SOC; Ultisol Andisol; century model; Nothofagus obliqua; soil degradation; SOC; Ultisol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dube, F.; Stolpe, N.B. SOM and Biomass C Stocks in Degraded and Undisturbed Andean and Coastal Nothofagus Forests of Southwestern South America. Forests 2016, 7, 320.

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