Saturday, 15 July 2006

Predicting Organic Matter Thickness and Decomposition Status in New Hampshire Peatlands Using Geomorphic and Vegetative Patterns.

Donald R. Keirstead, United States Dept of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, 2 Madbury Lane, Durham, NH 03824

Histosols have been mapped from aerial interpretation based on vegetative patterns. At 13 sites in New Hampshire, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) was used to measure the depth of soil organic matter (SOM). The 13 sites were grouped into two different categories: 5 sites of mixed Red Maple (Acer rubrum) and Speckled Alder (Alnus incana) vs. 8 sites of Leather Leaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata). At the leather leaf sites, 7 of the 8 sites had an average SOM thickness greater than 1.3 meters placing them into the Typic subgroup of Histosols. Conversely, the GPR data of the Red Maple and Speckled Alder sites suggested the Teric taxonomic subgroup because 3 of the 5 sites had SOM depths shallower than 1.3 meters. These findings suggest that leather leaf dominated histosols can be mapped from aerial interpretation while forested histosols need onsite investigation.

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