Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2005
Publication Date: 11/6/2005
Citation: Causarano, H.J., Franzluebbers, A.J., Shaw, J.N., Reeves, D.W., Raper, R.L., Wood, C.W., Norfleet, M.L. 2005. Management effects on soil organic carbon in the Piedmont and coastal plain [abstract]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, November 6-10, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah. CD-ROM.
Technical Abstract: Quantifying the impact of long-term agricultural land use on soil organic C (SOC) is important to farmers and environmental policy makers, but data are critically lacking. We determined SOC and related pools under conventional-tillage cropping (5-40 years), conservation-tillage cropping (5-30 years), and pasture (10-60 years) from farms in the Southern Piedmont and Coastal Plain Major Land Resource Areas. Soil at depths of 0-5, 5-12.5, and 12.5-20 cm was collected from 72 fields in GA, SC, NC and VA and analyzed for total C, particulate organic C and microbial biomass C. The experimental design allowed us to separate the influences of land use from mean climatic conditions (i.e., temperature and precipitation) and physiographic region. Summed to a depth of 20 cm, SOC averaged 36.5 Mg C/ha in the Coastal Plain and 32.2 Mg C/ha in the Piedmont. Soil organic C averaged 41.9 Mg C/ha under pasture, 34.0 Mg C/ha under conservation tillage and 27.2 Mg C/ha under conventional tillage. The greatest statistical differences in SOC among land uses occurred at the 0-5 cm depth. These data will be used to evaluate the potential of agricultural land use to store SOC and alter soil quality under different conditions in the southeastern USA.