This research compared the accuracy of laboratory reference measurements of soil C and N fractions with soil reflectance spectra acquired using a portable field spectroradiometer with an illuminating contact probe. Soil samples were taken from eight, 1.6 ha watersheds, located in El Reno, Oklahoma on native warm season grasslands and agronomic managements with landform complexes serving as replicates within and among treatments. Soil samples were taken from 0–30-cm. Measurements included total soil organic carbon (TSOC), total soil nitrogen (TSN), residual C of acid hydrolysis (RCAH), and particulate organic matter C (POMC) and N (POMN). Soil reflectance in the 350 to 2500 nm region was correlated with individual laboratory measurements. Each reference dataset was divided into model development data (70%) and model validation data (30%). Calibrated models were applied to validation datasets. Statistical analysis revealed that prediction efficiencies of soil reflectance models were highly quantitative. Coefficients of determination (R2
) were near 1 (≥0.90) and ratios of predicted values to the measured standard deviation (RPD) were >2, indicative of good predictive models. The field spectroradiometer enabled us to parameterize soil spatial variability and soil reflectance measurements, reducing the resources required to acquire edaphic measurements.
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