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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #238517

Title: Distribution of organic C oxidizable fractions in soils under cacao agroforestry systems in southern Bahia, Brazil

item BARRETO, P - State University Of North Fluminense
item FONTES, A - State University Of North Fluminense
item GAMA-RODRIGUES, DA, E - State University Of North Fluminense
item GAMA-RODRIGUES, DA, A - State University Of North Fluminense
item MACHADO, R - M & M Mars Company - Brazil
item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: World Agroforestry Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Agroforestry systems can play a major role in the sequestration of carbon (C) because of their higher input of organic material to the soil. The importance of organic carbon to the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of soil quality is well recognized. However, total organic carbon measurements might not be sensitive indicators of changes in soil quality. Adoption of procedures that can extract the more labile fraction preferentially might be a more useful approach for the characterization of soil organic carbon resulting from different soils. This study aimed to evaluate organic carbon (C) fractions distribution in different soil layers up to 50 cm depth in cacao (Theobroma cacao) agroforestry systems (AFS) in Bahia, Brazil. Soil samples were collected from four depth classes (0-5, 5-10, 10-30 and 30-50 cm) under two cacao agroforestry system (30-year-old stands of cacao with Erythrina spp. - Erythrina glauca - as shade trees) in Oxisols and Inceptsols, in Bahia, Brazil. The determination of oxidizable carbon by a modified Walkley-Black method was done to obtain four C fractions with different labile forms of carbon (fraction 1: labile fraction; fraction 2: moderate labile fraction; fraction 3: low labile fraction and fraction 4: recalcitrant fraction). Overall, at two cacao AFS, the C fractions generally declined with increase in soil depth. The C fractions 1 and 2 were 50% higher on upper layers (0-5 and 5-10cm). More than 50% of organic C was found in more labile fraction (fraction 1) in all depths for both soils. High value of C fraction 1 (more labile C): total organic C ratio was obtained (around 54 e 59%, on Oxisols and Inceptsols, respectively), indicating large input of organic matter in these soils.