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Forests 2017, 8(11), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8110448

Soil Organic Matter Accumulation and Carbon Fractions along a Moisture Gradient of Forest Soils

Department of Forest Soil Science, Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture, Al. 29 Listopada 46, 31-425 Krakow, Poland
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Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 12 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 17 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycling in Forest Soils)
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to present effects of soil properties, especially moisture, on the quantity and quality of soil organic matter. The investigation was performed in the Czarna Rózga Reserve in Central Poland. Forty circular test areas were located in a regular grid of points (100 × 300 m). Each plot was represented by one soil profile located at the plot’s center. Sample plots were located in the area with Gleysols, Cambisols and Podzols with the water table from 0 to 100 cm. In each soil sample, particle size, total carbon and nitrogen content, acidity, base cations content and fractions of soil organic matter were determined. The organic carbon stock (SOCs) was calculated based on its total content at particular genetic soil horizons. A Carbon Distribution Index (CDI) was calculated from the ratio of the carbon accumulation in organic horizons and the amount of organic carbon accumulation in the mineral horizons, up to 60 cm. In the soils under study, in the temperate zone, moisture is an important factor in the accumulation of organic carbon in the soil. The highest accumulation of carbon was observed in soils of swampy variant, while the lowest was in the soils of moist variant. Large accumulation of C in the soils with water table 80–100 cm results from the thick organic horizons that are characterized by lower organic matter decomposition and higher acidity. The proportion of carbon accumulation in the organic horizons to the total accumulation in the mineral horizons expresses the distribution of carbon accumulated in the soil profile, and is a measure of quality of the organic matter accumulated. Studies have confirmed the importance of moisture content in the formation of the fractional organic matter. With greater soil moisture, the ratio of humic to fulvic acids (HA/FA) decreases, which may suggest an increase in carbon mobility in soils. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon distribution index; moisture gradient; soil organic matter fraction carbon distribution index; moisture gradient; soil organic matter fraction
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Błońska, E.; Lasota, J. Soil Organic Matter Accumulation and Carbon Fractions along a Moisture Gradient of Forest Soils. Forests 2017, 8, 448.

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