Resource Details

Soil organic matter dynamics during 80 years of reforestation of tropical pastures

Literature: Journal Articles

Marin-Spiotta, E., Silver, W., Swanston, C., & Ostertag, R. 2009 "Soil organic matter dynamics during 80 years of reforestation of tropical pastures", Global Change Biology, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 1584-1597

Contact Info

Corresponding Author: Erika Marin-Spiotta, ems@geog.ucsb.edu

Affiliations

  • Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, 137 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3114, USA,
  • U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Houghton, MI 49931, USA,
  • Department of Biology, University of Hawaii, 200 West Kawili Street, Hilo, HI 96720, USA

Link(s)

Global Change Biology

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Description

 

  • This article evaluated soil carbon along a chronosequence of forest restoration in Puerto Rico.
  • There were replicate sites of remnant forest fragments, pastures, and secondary forests that were growing on pastureland abandoned 10, 20, 30, 60 and 80 years prior.
  • In 2001-2002, bulk soils were collected in three pits per site.
  • The bulk soil carbon did not differ between pasture and secondary forests, nor with age of secondary forest. In some cases, pastures are suspected to have more soil carbon because of the higher rates of below-ground productivity and higher allocation to root biomass.
  • In other cases, the soil carbon is suspected to increase. In this case, the pasture-derived soil carbon (from C4 plants) was found to decrease while the forest-derived carbon (from C3 plants) increased, therefore resulting in the no net change in soil C.
  • The authors did find that the carbon in the soil organic matter, which was lost during conversion from forest to pasture, was regained with conversion to secondary forest.
  • Additionally, the authors found rapid turnover in soil organic matter.
  • The authors assert that the effect of reforestation on soil carbon is imperative to the consideration of carbon sequestration projects.

Geographical Region

  • Caribbean Islands
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
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