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Title: Characterizations of Dissolved Organic Matter in Silvopasture, Pasture, and Forest Leachates

item Boyer, Douglas
item Neel, James - Jim

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2007
Publication Date: 6/11/2007
Citation: Boyer, D.G., Neel, J.P. 2007. Characterizations of Dissolved Organic Matter in Silvopasture, Pasture, and Forest Leachates. In: Olivier, A. and S. Campeau (eds). When Trees and Crops Get Together. Proceedings of the 10th North American Agroforestry Conference, Quebec City, Canada, June 10-13, pp 263-269.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A major limitation to efficient forage-based livestock production in Appalachia is asynchrony of forage availability and quality with nutritional requirements of the grazer. Producers require dependable plant resources and management practices that improve the seasonal distribution and persistence of high quality herbage, sustainability and environmental integrity of the agricultural landscape. Forests are one way to sequester carbon, but silvopasture also shows an ability to sequester carbon while also offering agricultural production benefits. Piezometers installed to the soil/bedrock interface in forest, pasture, and silvopasture were used to study the characteristics of dissolved organic carbon in leachate from each of the systems. There were no significant differences in mean concentrations of total dissolved carbon, dissolved organic carbon, or dissolved inorganic carbon between the land treatments. Excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy identified five groups of organic matter compounds in the water samples: tyrosine-like, tryptophan-like, protein-like, fulvic-like, and humic-like. There was no significant difference in the relative fluorescence intensities of tyrosine-like, tryptophan-like, or humic-like substances in the three treatments. There were differences between treatments of the relative intensities of protein-like and fulvic-like substances. Both were greatest in the silvopasture leachates and least in the pasture leachates. Knowledge about the organic carbon cycling characteristics of each land treatment will benefit development of decision support tools.