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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Soil Carbon Content Within a Red Cedar-Scotch Pine Shelterbelt

Authors
item SAUER, THOMAS
item CAMBARDELLA, CYNTHIA
item Brandle, James - UNIV OF NEBRASKA

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2005
Publication Date: June 15, 2000
Citation: Sauer, T.J., Cambardella, C.A., Brandle, J.R. 2000 [CD-ROM]. Soil carbon content within a red cedar-scotch pine shelterbelt. Rochester, MN. North American Agroforestry Conference.

Technical Abstract: Carbon (C) sequestration in woody biomass is promoted as a practice to offset increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Less attention has been given to C sequestration in soil under reforestation or afforestation scenarios. The objective of this study was to quantify C in shallow soil layers within and adjacent to a 35 year-old shelterbelt in eastern Nebraska. Two rows of eastern red cedar, scotch pine, and eastern cottonwood were planted 3.65 m-apart in north-south rows with 1.8 m tree spacing within rows in 1968. The cottonwood trees were removed after ~15 years while red mulberry and honey locust and various grasses and forbs invaded the margins of the shelterbelt. Adjacent fields were cropped primarily to wheat, grain sorghum, and soybean. In November 2003, a 7 x 17 sampling grid at a 1.8 m-spacing was established across a section of the shelterbelt on Tomek silt loam (fine, smectitic, mesic Pachic Argiudolls). Four soil cores were collected within 0.25 m of each grid point, divided into 0-0.075 and 0.075-0.15 m depth increments, and composited. Under the shelterbelt, all surface litter in a 0.5 x 0.5 m square at each grid point was removed before soil sampling. Total soil C under the trees averaged 3.42% and 2.09% for the 0-0.075 and 0.075-0.15 m layers and 1.96% and 1.78% for the same layers in the cropped fields. Greater soil C under the trees is attributed to decomposition of tree litter, absence of tillage, erosion reduction, and deposition of wind-blown dust.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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