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Title: Variability in Soil Properties at Different Spatial Scales (1 m to 1 km) in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that variability in 11 soil properties, related to soil texture and soil C and N, would increase from small (1 m) to large (1 km) spatial scales in a temperate, mixed-hardwood forest ecosystem in east Tennessee, USA. The results were somewhat surprising and indicated that a fundamental assumption in geospatial analysis, namely that variability increases with increasing spatial scale, did not apply for at least five of the 11 soil properties measured over a 0.5-km2 area. Composite mineral soil samples (15 cm deep) were collected at 1, 5, 10, 50, 250, and 500 m distances from a center point along transects in a north, south, east, and westerly direction. A null hypothesis of equal variance at different spatial scales was rejected (P{le}0.05) for mineral soil C concentration, silt content, and the C-to-N ratios in particulate organic matter (POM), mineral-associated organic matter (MOM), and whole surface soil. Results from different tests of spatial variation, based on coefficients of variation or a Mantel test, led to similar conclusions about measurement variability and geographic distance for eight of the 11 variables examined. Measurements of mineral soil C and N concentrations, C concentrations inmore » MOM, extractable soil NH{sub 4}-N, and clay contents were just as variable at smaller scales (1-10 m) as they were at larger scales (50-500 m). On the other hand, measurement variation in mineral soil C-to-N ratios, MOM C-to-N ratios, and the fraction of soil C in POM clearly increased from smaller to larger spatial scales. With the exception of extractable soil NH4-N, measured soil properties in the forest ecosystem could be estimated (with 95% confidence) to within 15% of their true mean with a relatively modest number of sampling points (n{le}25). For some variables, scaling up variation from smaller to larger spatial domains within the ecosystem could be relatively easy because small-scale variation may be indicative of variation at larger scales.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. University of Oklahoma
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
931706
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Soil Biology and Biochemistry; Journal Volume: 39; Journal Issue: 10
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLAYS; ECOSYSTEMS; FORESTS; HYPOTHESIS; ORGANIC MATTER; PARTICULATES; SAMPLING; SILT; SOILS; TENNESSEE; TEXTURE

Citation Formats

Garten Jr, Charles T, Kang, S., Brice, Deanne Jane, Schadt, Christopher Warren, and Zhou, Jizhong. Variability in Soil Properties at Different Spatial Scales (1 m to 1 km) in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.04.033.
Garten Jr, Charles T, Kang, S., Brice, Deanne Jane, Schadt, Christopher Warren, & Zhou, Jizhong. Variability in Soil Properties at Different Spatial Scales (1 m to 1 km) in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem. United States. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.04.033.
Garten Jr, Charles T, Kang, S., Brice, Deanne Jane, Schadt, Christopher Warren, and Zhou, Jizhong. Mon . "Variability in Soil Properties at Different Spatial Scales (1 m to 1 km) in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem". United States. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.04.033.
@article{osti_931706,
title = {Variability in Soil Properties at Different Spatial Scales (1 m to 1 km) in a Deciduous Forest Ecosystem},
author = {Garten Jr, Charles T and Kang, S. and Brice, Deanne Jane and Schadt, Christopher Warren and Zhou, Jizhong},
abstractNote = {The purpose of this research was to test the hypothesis that variability in 11 soil properties, related to soil texture and soil C and N, would increase from small (1 m) to large (1 km) spatial scales in a temperate, mixed-hardwood forest ecosystem in east Tennessee, USA. The results were somewhat surprising and indicated that a fundamental assumption in geospatial analysis, namely that variability increases with increasing spatial scale, did not apply for at least five of the 11 soil properties measured over a 0.5-km2 area. Composite mineral soil samples (15 cm deep) were collected at 1, 5, 10, 50, 250, and 500 m distances from a center point along transects in a north, south, east, and westerly direction. A null hypothesis of equal variance at different spatial scales was rejected (P{le}0.05) for mineral soil C concentration, silt content, and the C-to-N ratios in particulate organic matter (POM), mineral-associated organic matter (MOM), and whole surface soil. Results from different tests of spatial variation, based on coefficients of variation or a Mantel test, led to similar conclusions about measurement variability and geographic distance for eight of the 11 variables examined. Measurements of mineral soil C and N concentrations, C concentrations in MOM, extractable soil NH{sub 4}-N, and clay contents were just as variable at smaller scales (1-10 m) as they were at larger scales (50-500 m). On the other hand, measurement variation in mineral soil C-to-N ratios, MOM C-to-N ratios, and the fraction of soil C in POM clearly increased from smaller to larger spatial scales. With the exception of extractable soil NH4-N, measured soil properties in the forest ecosystem could be estimated (with 95% confidence) to within 15% of their true mean with a relatively modest number of sampling points (n{le}25). For some variables, scaling up variation from smaller to larger spatial domains within the ecosystem could be relatively easy because small-scale variation may be indicative of variation at larger scales.},
doi = {10.1016/j.soilbio.2007.04.033},
journal = {Soil Biology and Biochemistry},
number = 10,
volume = 39,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}