Skip to Main Content
Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.
Soil carbon sequestration and changes in fungal and bacterial biomass following incorporation of forest residuesAuthor(s): Matt D. Busse; Felipe G. Sanchez; Alice W. Ratcliff; John R. Butnor; Emily A. Carter; Robert F. Powers
Source: Soil Biology & Biochemistry, Vol. 41: 220-227
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (314 KB)
DescriptionSequestering carbon (C) in forest soils can benefit site fertility and help offset greenhouse gas emissions. However, identifying soil conditions and forest management practices which best promote C accumulation remains a challenging task. We tested whether soil incorporation of masticated woody residues alters short-term C storage at forested sites in western and southeastern USA. Our hypothesis was that woody residues would preferentially stimulate soil fungal biomass, resulting in improved C use efficiency and greater soil C storage. Harvest slash at loblolly pine sites in South Carolina was masticated (chipped) and either (1) retained on the soil surface, (2) tilled to a soil depth of 40 cm, or (3) tilled using at least twice the mass of organics. At comparative sites in California, live woody fuels in ponderosa pine stands were (1) masticated and surface applied, (2) masticated and tilled, or (3) left untreated. Sites with clayey and sandy soils were compared in each region, with residue additions ranging from 20 to 207 Mg ha1. Total and active fungal biomass were not strongly affected by residue incorporation despite the high input of organics. Limited response was also found for total and active bacterial biomass. As a consequence, fungal:bacterial (F:B) biomass ratios were similar among treatments at each site. Total soil C was elevated at one California site following residue incorporation, yet was significantly lower compared to surface-applied residues at both loblolly pine sites, presumably due to the oxidative effects of tilling on soil organic matter. The findings demonstrated an inconsequential effect of residue incorporation on fungal and bacterial biomass and suggest a limited potential of such practices to enhance long-term soil C storage in these forests.
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationBusse, Matt D.; Sanchez, Felipe G.; Ratcliff, Alice W.; Butnor, John R.; Carter, Emily A.; Powers, Robert F. 2009. Soil carbon sequestration and changes in fungal and bacterial biomass following incorporation of forest residues. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, Vol. 41: 220-227
Keywordssoil carbon, microbial biomass, harvesting, fuel reduction methods, fluorescent microscopy
- Recovery of ectomycorrhizal fungus communities fifteen years after fuels reduction treatments in ponderosa pine forests of the Blue Mountains, Oregon
- Evaluating the role of cutting treatments, fire and soil seed banks in an experimental framework in ponderosa pine forests of the Black Hills, South Dakota
- Total carbon and nitrogen in mineral soil after 26 years of prescribed fire: Long Valley and Fort Valley Experimental Forests (P-53)
XML: View XML