The Influence of Afforestation on Upland Soils: The Use of "Bomb 14C" Enrichment as a Quantitative Tracer for Changes in Organic Status
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CitationHarkness, D. D., & Harrison, A. F. (1989). The influence of afforestation on upland soils: The use of ‘bomb 14C’ enrichment as a quantitative tracer for changes in organic status. Radiocarbon, 31(3), 637-643.
DescriptionFrom the 13th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, June 20-25, 1988.
AbstractA series of soil samples were collected in November 1984 from five stands of Sitka spruce planted at recorded times between 1951 and 1968. Within a comprehensive program of ecologic and biogeochemical analyses, natural 14C measurements on selected organic components of the 0 to 5cm soil horizons serve to quantify progressive changes induced in the organic carbon inventory and relative to that of the original grassland. Points of particular interest are: 1) an enhanced input of fresh organic matter in the years immediately following planting; this, in parallel with a net decrease in the total carbon content of the topsoil; 2) this freshly introduced carbon predominates in the soil profile even after 30 years of afforestation; 3) during the 15to 30-year growth period, the soil carbon content remains constant but progressive changes occur in its biogeochemical composition and rate of turnover.