Changes in dissolved organic matter with depth suggest the potential for postharvest organic matter retention to increase subsurface soil carbon pools.Author(s): Brian D. Strahm; Robert B. Harrison; Thomas A. Terry; Timothy B. Harrington; A.B. Adams; Paul W. Footen
Source: Forest Ecology and Management: DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.03.014
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
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Research into postharvest management of forests often focuses on balancing the need for increased biomass yield against factors that may directly impact the productivity of the subsequent stand (e.g. nutrient and water availability, soil microclimate, etc.), Postharvest organic matter management, however, also exerts a strong influence over the translocation of carbon (C) into and through the soil profile and may provide a mechanism to increase soil C content, The effects of contrasting postharvest organic matter retention treatments (bole-only removal, BO; whole-tree removal, WT) on soil solution C concentration and quality were quantified at the Fall River and Matlock Long-term Soil Productivity (LTSP) studies in Washington state. Solutions were collected monthly at depths of 20 and 100 cm and analyzed for dissolved organic C (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and DOC:DON ratio. Comparisons of DOC concentrations with depth illustrate divergent trends between the two treatments, with an overall decrease in DOC with depth in the BO treatment and either an increase or no change with depth in the WT treatment. Trends in DON concentrations with depth were less clear, partly due to the very low concentrations observed, although the relationship of DOC:DON with depth shows a decrease in the BO treatment and little to no change in DOC quality in the WT treatment. This illustrates that more recalcitrant organic matter (higher DOC:DON) is being removed from solution as it moves through the soil profile.
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CitationStrahm, Brian D.; Harrison, Robert B.; Terry, Thomas A.; Harrington, Timothey B.; Adams, A.B.; Footen, Paul W. 2009. Changes in dissolved organic matter with depth suggest the potential for postharvest organic matter retention to increase subsurface soil carbon pools. Forest Ecology and Mangement.
Keywordsdissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, DOC:DON ratio, forest management, harvest intensity, carbon flux.
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