Saturday, 15 July 2006

Forest Ecosystem Management Practices and Carbon Storage in North Alabama Soils.

Monday Mbila, Wallace Dillon Jr., and Maria Nobles. Alabama A&M University, 4900 Meridian Street, Normal, AL 35762

Current methods of assessing C-sequestration in soils is uncertain mainly because of lack of data on the different soil C stocks. Since long-term C sequestration is dependent on the recalcitrance of carbon fractions in soils, partitioning of the C stocks may provide insight into the mechanisms and potential for their sequestration. This study was conducted to partition sequestered soil C into its various pools and to assess the impacts of the management practices on the C pools in soils of medium growth stands in the Cumberland Plateau physiographic province of North Alabama. The effects of three prescribed burning patterns (no burn, 3-year burn, and 10-year burn) and three levels of stand-thinning (no thinning, 25% thinning, and 50% thinning) on the partitioning of C stocks were tested in soils at the Bankhead National Forest. Total sequestered C from the surface soils of the treatment sites was partitioned into active- or particulate-C, humic acid-C, fulvic acid-C, and non-humic acid-C. Relative concentrations of the C fractions from the different treatments should indicate how the ecosystem management practices impact the potential of the soils to sequester C.

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