Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (850 KB bytes)

Title: Spatial distribrrtion of soil carbon in southern New England hardwood forest landscapes

Author: Davis, Aletta A.; Stolt, Mark H.; Compton, Jana E.;

Date: 2004

Source: Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Journal 68: 895-903

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Understanding soil organic C (SOC) spatial variability is critical when developing C budgets, explaining the cause and effects of climate change, and for basic ecosystem characterization. We investigated delineations of four soil series to elucidate teh factors that affect the size, distribution, and varibility of SOC pools from horizon to landscape scales. These soils, classified as Udipsamments, Dystrudepts, Endoaquepts, and Haplosaprists, were sampled along random transects to a depth of 1 m. In very poorly and poorly drained soils 75 and 45% of total SOC was found below 30 cm, respectively. In contrast, only 30% of the total SOC could be accounted for below 30 cm in the well and excessively drained soils. Soils formed in outwash and young alluvium sequestered a greater portion of total SOC within the subsoil, while soils formed in loess held approximately 70% of the SOC within O and A horizons. Total SOC contents among the four soil types differed significantly (p < 0.001), with the wetter soils having greater accumulations of C. Soil C pools ranged from 110 Mg C ha-1 in the excessively drained Psamments (double the mean national value) to 586 Mg C ha-1 in the very poorly drained Saprists (30-60% lower than the mean national value). The two-fold differences between our data and the national averages support the need for regional assessments of soil C pools. Based on the coefficient of variation (CV) values, there appears to be nearly as much variability in the SOC pool within a delineation (CVs ranged 9 to 30%) as among delineations (CVs ranged from 15 to 31%) for the same soil type. Snce significant differences were found for total SOC among delineations of the same soil type, we concluded that sampling from a significant numver of delineations of the same series will provide a more accurate representation of SOC for scaling to the landscape or region than sampling at multiple locations within a single representative delineation.

Publication Notes:

  • 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.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Davis, Aletta A.; Stolt, Mark H.; Compton, Jana E. 2004. Spatial distribrrtion of soil carbon in southern New England hardwood forest landscapes. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Journal 68: 895-903


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.