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Soil organic matter stabilization and carbon-cycling enzyme activity are affected by land management

Blonska, E., Lasota, J., Vasconcelos da Silva, G. R., Vanguelova, E., Ashwood, F., Tibbett, M., Watts, K. and Lukac, M. (2020) Soil organic matter stabilization and carbon-cycling enzyme activity are affected by land management. Annals of Forest Research, 63 (1). ISSN 2065-2445

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To link to this item DOI: 10.15287/afr.2019.1837

Abstract/Summary

Increasing carbon (C) storage in soil is a key aspect of climate change mitigation strategies and requires an understanding of the impacts of land management on soil C cycling. The primary aim of this study is to investigate how land management impacts key soil organic matter stabilization and cycling processes affecting soil C storage. Soil sampling was undertaken across seven transects crossing the boundary between agriculture and forestry. The transects covered 3 pasture (AP) and 4 arable (AA) fields combined with 3 young secondary woodlands (50-60 years old - WY) and 4 mature/ancient semi-natural woodlands (110 to >400 years old - WM). Physical fractionation of soil organic matter pools was performed, together with pH, carbon and nitrogen content, as well as activity of four enzymes associated with C transformation in the soil. Woodland soils were associated with significantly higher content of light fraction C and greater enzyme activity in comparison to agricultural soils. Enzyme activity and soil organic C decreased with soil depth regardless of land-use type. We did not, however, observe any effect of the distance from the land use boundary on either enzyme activity and soil C pools. Our results indicate that analysis of soil organic matter (SOM) fractions can act as an indicator of decomposition rates of SOM in forest and agricultural ecosystems.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:91700
Publisher:Forest Research and Management Institute ICAS

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