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Jari Liski

Variation in soil organic carbon and thickness of soil horizons within a boreal forest stand – effect of trees and implications for sampling.

Liski J. (1995). Variation in soil organic carbon and thickness of soil horizons within a boreal forest stand – effect of trees and implications for sampling. Silva Fennica vol. 29 no. 4 article id 5561. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9212

Abstract

Spatial variation in the density of soil organic carbon (kg/m2) and the thickness of soil horizons (F/H, E) were investigated in a 6 m x 8 m area in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Southern Finland for designing an effective sampling for the C density and studying the effect of trees on the variation. The horizon thickness of the podzolized soil were measured on a total of 126 soil cores (50 cm deep) and the C density of the organic F/H and 0–10 cm, 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm mineral soil layers was analysed.

The C density varied 3–5 fold within the layers and the coefficients of variation ranged from 22 % to 40%. Considering the gain in confidence per sample, 8–10 samples were suggested for estimating the mean C density in the F/H and 0–40 cm layers, although about 30 samples are needed for 10% confidence in the mean. The C densities and horizon thicknesses were spatially dependent within the distances of 1–8 m, the spatial dependence accounting for 43–86% of the total variance. The F/H layer was thicker and contained more C within 1–3 m radius from trees. In the 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm layers (B horizon) the C density also increased towards the trees, but more pronouncedly in the immediate vicinity of the stems. Because the spatial patterning of the E horizon thickness was similar, the increase was attributed to stemflow and precipitation of organic compounds in the podzol B horizon.

Keywords
soil carbon; soil formation; soil morphology; tree effects; spatial variation; soil sampling; geostatics; Pinus sylvestris

Published in 1995

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.a9212 | Download PDF

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