Monday, 10 July 2006

Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus Regimes of West Virginia Forest Soil Series.

Anthony Jenkins, Stephen Carpenter, and Mike Wilson. USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, 226 Maple Ave., Oak Hill, WV 25901

We are conducting soil series characterization by geologic parent material in an effort to quantify nutrient regimes of important West Virginia forest soils. Here extractable and total Ca, Mg, and P stocks and distributions are examined from major forested series derived from 4 formations of Pennsylvanian through Devonian - aged geologic parent materials on the Allegheny Plateau and Cumberland Mountains. Series from the more acid formations are low in total Ca stocks, and the extractable and total distributions have strong correlations with soil carbon (positive) and depth (negative). In series from the less acid geologic formations, stocks of Ca and Mg are generally much higher, and the correlations of those nutrients to depth or C are generally lower than for series from the more acid parent materials. On all sites extractable and total Mg stocks appeared more in line with estimates from other regions, and their respective correlations with depth and C are divergent. Trends in P stocks and distributions were variable among the parent materials and series. For all 3 elements, within-profile distributions and relationships are examined. These data suggest significant differences in forest soil fertility occur among these series whose corresponding sites have well-known differences in speciation and growth, but previously little quantified soil characterization. Series from the more acid parent materials appear to have very limited quantities of geochemical Ca and P stocks for long-term replenishment of available fertility. These data will be incorporated into the National Soil Information System, and are being used to better differentiate soil types and map units for forest management.

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