Weathering and Soils

Predicting Soil Organic Carbon Stock Using Profile Depth Distribution Functions and Ordinary Kriging

Mishra, U., Lal, R., Slater, B., Calhoun, F., Liu, D. S., and
Van Meirvenne, M.: Predicting Soil Organic Carbon Stock Using
Profile Depth Distribution Functions and Ordinary Kriging,
Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., 73, 614–621, 2009.

Abstract: 
The objective of this study was to predict and map SOC stocks at different depth intervals within the upper 1-m depth using profi le depth distribution functions and ordinary kriging. These approaches were tested for the state of Indiana as a case study. A total of 464 pedons representing 204 soil series was obtained from the National Soil Survey Center database. Another 48 soil profi le samples were collected to better represent the heterogeneity of the environmental variables. Two methods were used to model the depth distribution of the SOC stocks using negative exponential profi le depth functions. In Procedure A, the functions to describe the depth distribution of volumetric C content for each soil profi le were fi tted using nonlinear least squares. In Procedure B, the exponential functions were fi tted to describe the depth distribution of the cumulative SOC stocks. The parameters of the functions were interpolated for the entire study area using ordinary kriging on 81% of the data points (n = 414). The integral of the exponential function up to the desired depth was used to predict SOC stocks within the 0- to 1-, 0- to 0.5-, and 0.5- to 1-m depth intervals. These estimates were validated using the remaining 19% (n = 98) of the data. Procedure B showed a higher prediction accuracy for all depths, with higher r and lower RMSE values. The highest prediction accuracy (r = 0.75, RMSE = 2.89 kg m−2) was obtained for SOC stocks in the 0- to 0.5-m depth interval. Using Procedure B, SOC stocks within the top 1 m of Indiana soils were estimated to be 0.90 Pg C.

Variations in Belowground Carbon Storage and Soil CO2 Flux Rates along a Wet Tropical Climate Gradient

McGroddy, Megan; Silver, Whendee L. 2000. Variations in Belowground Carbon Storage and Soil CO2 Flux Rates along a Wet Tropical Climate Gradient. BIOTROPICA 32(4a): 614-624 .

Abstract: 
We used a humid tropical elevation gradient to examine the relationships among climate, edaphic conditions, belowground carbon storage, and soil respiration rates. We also compared open and closed canopy sites to increase the range of microclimate conditions sampled along the gradient, and determine the effects of canopy openings on C and P storage, and C dynamics. Total soil C, the light C fraction, and all of the component fractions of the P pool were significantly related to soil moisture, and all but total soil C were also significantly related to temperature. Both labile and recalcitrant soil P fractions were negatively correlated with the light C fraction, while the dilute HCl-extractable P pool, generally thought of as intermediate in availability, was positively correlated with light C, suggesting that P may play an important role in C cycling within these systems. Total fine root biomass was greatest at 1000 m elevation and lowest at 150 m, and was strongly and positively correlated with soil moisture content. Soil respiration rates were significantly and negatively correlated with fine root biomass and the light C fraction. In forested sites, soil respiration rates were strongly and negatively correlated with total belowground C pools (soils 1 roots 1 forest floor). Belowground C pools did not follow the expected increasing trend with decreases in temperature along the gradient. Our results indicated that in humid tropical forests, the relationships among soil C and nutrient pools, soil respiration rates, and climate are complex. We suggest that frequent and prolonged anaerobic events could be important features of these environments that may explain the observed trends.

Protozoa from aboveground and ground soils of a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico

Bamforth S (2007) Protozoa from aboveground and ground soils
of tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico. Pedobiologia 50:515–525

Abstract: 
forests, but little is known about the protozoa that stimulate bacterial activity and turnover. I examined litter and ground soils, epiphytic bryophyte soils on tree trunks and branches, and adventitious roots of lianas attached to tree trunks, within 2m above ground in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, within the Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico. Amoebae numbered 69,000–170,000, ciliates 1000–25,000, and testate amoebae 58,000–190,000 g1 dry wt. of litter, but were reduced by 0.25–0.5 of these abundances in the underlying soils. In the aboveground soils, amoebae numbered 64,000–145,000, ciliates 1000–8000, and testate amoebae 84,000–367,000 g1 dry wt. of soil. Eighty species of ciliates and 104 species of testate amoebae were found. About 50% of the individuals in ciliate and 33% in testate amoebae populations were small r-selected species, illustrating that functional differences between species determine community composition. Although protozoan numbers are best described as ‘‘protozoan potential’’ because many individuals may be dormant, the high moisture content of tropical rain forest litter and soils suggest almost continually connected soil water films (necessary for protozoan transport), and together with the large numbers and biodiversity of protozoa, suggest that a major proportion of these protozoa contribute to the bacterial decomposition channel of organic matter. & 2006 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in plantation and secondary forest in wet tropics in Puerto Rico

YIQING, LI; XU, MING; ZOU XIAOMING; SHI§, PEIJUN; ZHANG, YAOQI 2005. Comparing soil organic carbon dynamics in plantation and secondary forest in wet tropics in Puerto Rico. Global Change Biology 11,: 239–248, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.00896.x.

Abstract: 
We compared the soil carbon dynamics between a pine plantation and a secondary forest, both of which originated from the same farmland abandoned in 1976 with the same cropping history and soil conditions, in the wet tropics in Puerto Rico from July 1996 to June 1997. We found that the secondary forest accumulated the heavy-fraction organic carbon (HF-OC) measured by the density fractionation technique, more efficiently than the tree plantation did. Although there was no significant difference in total soil organic carbon (SOC) between the plantation (5.59  0.09 kgm2) and the secondary forest (5.68  0.16 kgm2), the proportion of HF-OC carbon to the total SOC was significantly higher in the secondary forest (61%) than in the plantation (45%) (Po0.05). Forest floor mass and aboveground litterfall in the plantation were 168% and 22.8% greater than those in the secondary forest, respectively, while the decomposition rate of leaf litter in the plantation was 23.3% lower than that in the secondary forest. The annual mean soil respirations in the plantation and the secondary forest were 2.32  0.15 and 2.65  0.18 gCm2 day1, respectively, with a consistently higher rate in the secondary forest than in the plantation throughout the year. Microbial biomass measured by fumigation–incubation method demonstrated a strong seasonal variation in the secondary forest with 804mgkg1 in the wet season and 460mgkg1 in the dry season. However, the seasonal change of microbial biomass in the plantation was less significant. Our results suggested that secondary forests could stock more long-term SOC than the plantations in the wet tropics because the naturally generated secondary forest accumulated more HF-OC than the managed plantation.

Soil Survey of Caribbean National Forest and Luquillo Experimental Forest, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Huffaker L (2002) Soil Survey of the Caribbean National Forest and Luquillo
Experimental Forest, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Interim Publication).
US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service,
Washington, DC, US.

Abstract: 
This soil survey contains information that affects land use planning in this survey area. It contains predictions of soil behavior for selected land uses. The survey also highlights soil limitations, improvements needed to overcome the limitations, and the impact of selected land uses on the environment. This soil survey is designed for many different users. Foresters, land use planners, and researchers can use it to evaluate the potential of the soil and the management needed for maximum use and production. Planners, community officials, engineers, and builders can use the survey to plan land use, select sites for construction, and identify special practices needed to ensure proper performance. Conservationists, teachers, students, and specialists in recreation, wildlife management, waste disposal, and pollution control can use the survey to help them understand, protect, and enhance the environment. Various land use regulations of Federal, Commonwealth, and local governments may impose special restrictions on land use or land treatment. The information in this report is intended to identify soil properties that are used in making various land use or land treatment decisions. Statements made in this report are intended to help the land users identify and minimize the effects of soil limitations on various land uses. The landowner or user is responsible for identifying and complying with existing laws and regulations. Great differences in soil properties can occur within short distances. Some soils are seasonally wet or subject to flooding. Some are shallow to bedrock. Some are too unstable to be used as a foundation for buildings or roads. Clayey or wet soils are poorly suited to use as septic tank absorption fields. A high water table makes a soil poorly suited to basements or underground installations. These and many other soil properties that affect land use are described in this soil survey. Broad areas of soils are shown on the general soil map. The location of each soil is shown on the detailed soil maps. Each soil in the survey area is described. Information on specific uses is given for each soil. Help in using this publication and additional information are available at the local office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Forest Service, or the Cooperative Extension Service.

Hydrologic flowpaths influence inorganic and organic nutrient leaching in a forest soil

Asano, Y., Compton, J. E. & Church, R. M. Hydrologic flowpaths influence
inorganic and organic nutrient leaching in a forest soil. Biogeochem. 81,
191-204 (2006).

Abstract: 
Hydrologic pathways through soil affect element leaching by determining the relative importance of biogeochemical processes such as sorption and decomposition. We used stable hydrogen isotopes of water (dD) to examine the influence of flowpaths on soil solution chemistry in a mature spruce–hemlock forest in coastal Oregon, USA. Soil solutions (50 cm depth, n = 13) were collected monthly for 1 year and analyzed for dD, major ions and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON). We propose that the variability of dD can be used as an index of flowpath length and contact time. Throughfall variability in dD was much greater than soil solution variability, illustrating that soil solution integrates the variation in inputs. Lysimeters with greater variation in dD presumably have a greater proportion of flow through rapid flowpaths such as macropores. The variation in soil solution dD for individual lysimeters explained up to 53% of the variation in soil solution chemistry, and suggests that flowpaths influence leaching of some constituents. Soil solutions from lysimeters with greater dD variation had higher DOC and DON (r2 = 0.51 and 0.37, respectively), perhaps because transport via macropores reduces interaction of DOM with the soil matrix. In contrast, nitrate concentrations were highest in lysimeters with a small variation in dD, where long contact time and low DOC concentrations may yield higher net nitrification. Our results demonstrate the utility of stable isotopes to link flowpaths and soil solution chemistry, and illustrate how the spatial complexity of soils can influence ecosystem- level nutrient losses.

Denudation rates determined from the accumulation of in situ-produced 10Be in the luquillo experimental forest, Puerto Rico

Brown, E.T., Stallard, R.F., Larsen, M.C., Raisbeck, G.M., Yiou,
F., 1995b. Denudation rates determined from the accumulation of in
situ-produced Be in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto
Rico. Earthand Planetary Science Letters 129, 193}202.

Abstract: 
We present a simple method for estimation of long-term mean denudation rates using in situ-produced cosmogenic 10Be in fluvial sediments. Procedures are discussed to account for the effects of soil bioturbation, mass wasting and attenuation of cosmic rays by biomass and by local topography. Our analyses of 10Be in quartz from bedrock outcrops, soils, mass-wasting sites and riverine sediment from the Icacos River basin in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, are used to characterize denudation for major landform elements in that basin. The 10Be concentration of a discharge-weighted average of size classes of river sediment corresponds to a long-term average denudation of ≈ 43 m Ma−1, consistent with mass balance results.

Asynchronous fluctuation of soil microbial biomass and plant litterfall in a tropical wet forest

Ruan, H.H., Zou, X.M., Scatena, F.N., Zimmerman, J.K., 2004.
Asynchronous fluctuation of soil microbial biomass and plant litterfall
in a tropical wet forest. Plant and Soil 260, 147–154.

Abstract: 
Carbon availability often controls soil microbial growth and there is evidence that at regional scales soil microbial biomass is positively correlated with aboveground forest litter input. We examined the influence of plant litterfall on annual variation of soil microbial biomass in control and litter-excluded plots in a tropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. We also measured soil moisture, soil temperature, and plant litterfall in these treatment plots. Aboveground plant litter input had no effect on soil microbial biomass or on its pattern of fluctuation. Monthly changes in soil microbial biomass were not synchronized with aboveground litter inputs, but rather preceeded litterfall by one month. Soil microbial biomass did not correlate with soil temperature, moisture, or rainfall. Our results suggest that changes in soil microbial biomass are not directly regulated by soil temperature, moisture, or aboveground litter input at local scales within a tropical wet forest, and there were asynchronous fluctuation between soil microbial biomass and plant litterfall. Potential mechanisms for this asynchronous fluctuation include soil microbial biomass regulation by competition for soil nutrients between microorganisms and plants, and regulation by below-ground carbon inputs associated with the annual solar and drying-rewetting cycles in tropical wet forests.

Global and local variations in tropical montane cloud forest soils

Roman L, Scatena FN, Bruijnzeel LA. 2010. In Tropical Montane Cloud Forests: Science for Conservation and Management, Bruijnzeel LA, Scatena FN, Hamilton LS (eds).

Abstract: 
Although soil resources are widely considered as a major factor that reduces the productivity, stature, and diversity of tropical montane cloud forests (TMCF), systematic comparisons of soil resources within and between TMCF are lacking. This study combines published reports on TMCF soils with new data on the soils and forest structure of the Luquillo Mountains in Puerto Rico to assess the current state of knowledge regarding global and local-scale variation in TMCF soils. At the global scale, soils from 33 TMCF sites and over 150 pedons are reviewed. Compared to soils in humid lowland tropical forests, TMCF soils are relatively acidic, have higher organic matter content, and are relatively high in total nitrogen and extractable phosphorus. Across all sites, significant correlations also exist between mean annual precipitation and soil pH and base saturation, but not between any soil chemical factor and canopy height, site elevation, or air temperature. Although comparisons between TMCF are limited by inconsistent sampling protocols, analysis of available data does indicates that lower montane cloud forests (LMCF) have taller canopies, higher soil pH, lower soil nitrogen, and higher C/N ratios than upper montane cloud forests (UMCF). Within an UMCF in NE Puerto Rico, the abundance of soil nitrogen, carbon, and potassium accounted for 25% to 54% of the variation in canopy height. However, as much as 68% of the variation in stand height could be accounted for when site exposure, slope gradient, and the percent coverage of surface roots were also included in the analysis.

The Effect of Land Use on Soil Erosion in the Guadiana Watershed in Puerto Rico

LÓPEZ, TANIA DEL MAR; AIDE, T. MITCHELL; SCATENA F. N. 1998. The Effect of Land Use on Soil Erosion in the Guadiana Watershed in Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science, Vol. 34, No. 3-4, 298-307, 1998.

Abstract: 
The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) was used in conjunction with a Geographic Information System to determine the influence of land use and other environmental factors on soil erosion in the Guadiana watershed in Puerto Rico. Mean annual erosion, suspended sediment discharge, and the rainfall-erosion factor of the RUSLE increased with annual rainfall. Median soil erosion rates varied among the seven land uses: bare soil (534 Mg ha-1 yr-1), open canopy forest (26 Mg ha-1 yr-1), agriculture (22 Mgha-1 yr -1), pasture (17 Mg ha -1 yr -1), less dense urban (15 Mg ha-1 yr -1), closed canopy forest (7 Mg ha -1 yr -1), and dense urban (1 Mg ha-1 yr -1). The differences between open canopy forest, agriculture, pasture, and less dense urban were not significantly different but median values for open canopy forests were slightly greater because they occurred on steep slopes. The five-year average sediment delivery ratio for the basin was 0.17, which is comparable to delivery ratios estimated for watersheds of similar size. Simulations of different land use configurations indicate that reforestation of 5% of the watershed with the highest erosion rates would decrease basin wide erosion by 20%. If the entire watershed was reforested, soil erosion would be reduced by 37%.
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