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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGING SOIL TO SEQUESTER CARBON AND INCREASE LEVELS OF ORGANIC MATTER: IMPACTS ON SOIL QUALITY, STABILITY, AND ERODIBILITY

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Project Number: 6657-12130-002-04
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 01, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2013

Objective:
Evaluate the long-term effect of soil organic carbon (SOC) on soil quality: 1)To determine the amount and types of carbon accrued in long-term field plots; 2)To evaluate the effects of tillage practice, winter cover cropping, compost application, soil depth and soil aggregate size fraction on total SOC and SOC constituent contents; 3)To relate total SOC and SOC constituent contents with soil structural stability and erodibility; 4)To determine total SOC content level and constituents most effective at increasing soil stability and reducing soil erodibility; and 5)To identify agronomic practices that effectively increase soil stability and decrease erodibility.

Approach:
Soil quality will be evaluated in university controlled long-term piedmont and coastal field plots that have treatments of no-tillage, no-tillage with winter cover and compost, disk tillage, and disk tillage with winter cover and compost. In each treatment, SOC will be analyzed for particulate carbon, labile carbon, microbial biomass, total soil carbohydrates, and glomalin. SOC components will be related to mineralization, respiration, and aggregate stability. Testing for aggregate stability include wet sieving, dry sieving, and rainfall simulation of selected aggregate sizes analyzing runoff and splash.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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