Thumbnail Image

Use of shallow samples to estimate the total carbon storage in pastoral soils

Using data from pastoral soils sampled by horizon at 56 locations across New Zealand, we conducted a meta-analysis. On average, the total depth sampled was 0.93 ± 0.026 m (± SEM), and on a volumetric basis, the total C storage averaged 26.9 ± 1.8, 13.9 ± 0.6 and 9.2 ± 1.4 kg C m⁻² for allophanic (n=12), non-allophanic (n=40) and pumice soils (n=4), respectively. We estimated the total C storage, and quantified the uncertainty, using the data for samples taken from the uppermost A-horizon whose depth averaged 0.1 ± 0.003 m. For A-horizon samples of the allophanic soils, the mean C content was 108 ± 6 g C kg⁻¹ and the bulk density was 772 ± 29 kg m⁻³, for non-allophanic soils they were 51 ± 4 g C kg⁻¹ and 1055 ± 29 kg m⁻³, and for pumice soils they were 68 ± 9 g C kg⁻¹ and 715 ± 45 kg m⁻³. The C density —a product of the C content and bulk density —of the A-horizon samples was proportional to their air-dried water content, a proxy measure for the mineral surface area. By linear regression with C density of the A-horizon, the total C storage could be estimated with a standard error of 3.1 kg C m⁻², 19% of the overall mean.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Kelliher, F., Parfitt, R., van Koten, C., Schipper, L., & Rys, G. (2013). Use of shallow samples to estimate the total carbon storage in pastoral soils. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 56(1), 86-90.
Royal Society of New Zealand
© 2013, Royal Society of New Zealand. Used with permission.