Carbon pool ratios as scientific support to field morphology in the differentiation of dark subsurface soil horizons

  • Maíra Akemi Toma Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science; Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Phillip Ray Owens Purdue University; Dept. of Agronomy; Purdue University
  • Carlos Alberto Silva Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science; Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Sérgio Henrique Godinho Silva Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science; Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Elen Alvarenga Silva Federal University of Paraná; Dept. of Soils and Agricultural Engineering; Universidade Federal do Paraná
  • Nilton Curi Federal University of Lavras; Dept. of Soil Science; Universidade Federal de Lavras

Abstract

In soil surveys, it is usual to find profiles with an uncommon disposition of horizons. Dark horizons in depth might be either the consequence of erosion and redeposition of soil materials from upslope or an indication of the podzolization process, which forms a spodic horizon. Few laboratory analyses are known to characterize dark subsurface horizons which could allow for the differentiation of spodic from buried A horizons. Some researchers propose C-humic and C-fulvic acid fraction ratios and forms of carbon to analyze characteristics of these horizons. Therefore, this research aimed to characterize dark subsurface horizons found in soils under a Eucalyptus minimum tillage system in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and to relate soil organic carbon to landscape features in toposequences. The characterization was performed by using the following ratios: humic acid and fulvic acid fractions (Cha/Cfa); pyrophosphate extractable-C and organic carbon (Cp/OC); fulvic acid fraction and pyrophosphate extractable-C (Cfa/Cp), and fulvic acid fraction and organic carbon (Cfa/OC). Soil organic carbon was related to slope gradient and Geomorphons in a Geographic Information System (GIS). None of the horizons analyzed met the criteria required for spodic horizon classification, where Cha/Cfa < 0.50, Cfa/OC < 0.30, and the ratio Cp/OC ≥ 0.50 simultaneously with Cfa/Cp ≥ 0.50. A relationship was found between landscape features and soil organic carbon content. The methodology proved to be satisfactory for providing scientific support to field morphology classification of dark subsurface horizons, specifically in the case where they could be misinterpreted as spodic horizons.

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Published
2015-08-01
How to Cite
Toma, M., Owens, P., Silva, C., Silva, S., Silva, E., & Curi, N. (2015). Carbon pool ratios as scientific support to field morphology in the differentiation of dark subsurface soil horizons . Scientia Agricola, 72(4), 334-342. https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-9016-2014-0244
Section
Soils and Plant Nutrition