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Article

Can Agricultural Management Induced Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Be Detected Using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy?

1
Woodwell Climate Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Rd., Falmouth, MA 02540, USA
2
USDA-ARS Sustainable Ag. Systems Lab., Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
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USDA-ARS Columbia Plateau Conservation Research Center, Pendleton, OR 97801, USA
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USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
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USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, Mandan, ND 58554, USA
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Tennessee State University, 202K Farrell-Westbrook Building, 3500 John Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209, USA
7
Rodale Institute, Kutztown, PA 18062, USA
8
USDA-ARS Soil Management Sugarbeet Research Unit, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Asa Gholizadeh, Mohammadmehdi Saberioon and Fabio Castaldi
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(12), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122265
Received: 16 April 2021 / Revised: 28 May 2021 / Accepted: 5 June 2021 / Published: 9 June 2021
A major limitation to building credible soil carbon sequestration programs is the cost of measuring soil carbon change. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) is considered a viable low-cost alternative to traditional laboratory analysis of soil organic carbon (SOC). While numerous studies have shown that DRS can produce accurate and precise estimates of SOC across landscapes, whether DRS can detect subtle management induced changes in SOC at a given site has not been resolved. Here, we leverage archived soil samples from seven long-term research trials in the U.S. to test this question using mid infrared (MIR) spectroscopy coupled with the USDA-NRCS Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory MIR spectral library. Overall, MIR-based estimates of SOC%, with samples scanned on a secondary instrument, were excellent with the root mean square error ranging from 0.10 to 0.33% across the seven sites. In all but two instances, the same statistically significant (p < 0.10) management effect was found using both the lab-based SOC% and MIR estimated SOC% data. Despite some additional uncertainty, primarily in the form of bias, these results suggest that large existing MIR spectral libraries can be operationalized in other laboratories for successful carbon monitoring. View Full-Text
Keywords: diffuse reflectance spectroscopy; soil spectroscopy; long term agricultural trials diffuse reflectance spectroscopy; soil spectroscopy; long term agricultural trials
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanderman, J.; Savage, K.; Dangal, S.R.S.; Duran, G.; Rivard, C.; Cavigelli, M.A.; Gollany, H.T.; Jin, V.L.; Liebig, M.A.; Omondi, E.C.; Rui, Y.; Stewart, C. Can Agricultural Management Induced Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Be Detected Using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy? Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2265. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122265

AMA Style

Sanderman J, Savage K, Dangal SRS, Duran G, Rivard C, Cavigelli MA, Gollany HT, Jin VL, Liebig MA, Omondi EC, Rui Y, Stewart C. Can Agricultural Management Induced Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Be Detected Using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy? Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(12):2265. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122265

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sanderman, Jonathan, Kathleen Savage, Shree R. S. Dangal, Gabriel Duran, Charlotte Rivard, Michel A. Cavigelli, Hero T. Gollany, Virginia L. Jin, Mark A. Liebig, Emmanuel Chiwo Omondi, Yichao Rui, and Catherine Stewart. 2021. "Can Agricultural Management Induced Changes in Soil Organic Carbon Be Detected Using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy?" Remote Sensing 13, no. 12: 2265. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13122265

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