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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 3, p. 923-934
    Received: Aug 13, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): sabgru@ufl.edu
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Spectroscopic Models of Soil Organic Carbon in Florida, USA

  1. Gustavo M. Vasques,
  2. Sabine Grunwald * and
  3. Willie G. Harris
  1. Univ. of Florida, Soil and Water Science Dep., 2169 McCarty Hall, PO Box 110290, Gainesville, FL 32611. Assigned to Associate Editor Myrna Simpson


Soil organic carbon (SOC) is an indicator of ecosystem quality and plays a major role in the biogeochemical cycles of major nutrients and water. Shortcomings exist to estimate SOC across large regions using rapid and cheap soil sensing approaches. Our objective was to estimate SOC in 7120 mineral and organic soil horizons in Florida using visible/near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (VNIRS) calibrated by committee trees and partial least squares regression (PLSR). The derived VNIRS models were validated using independent datasets and explained up to 71 and 38% of the variance of SOC in mineral and organic horizons, respectively. We stratified the mineral horizons into seven soil orders and derived PLSR models for each order, which explained from 32% (Histosols) to 75% (Ultisols) of the variance of SOC concentration in validation mode. Estimates of SOC from all models were highly scattered along the regression lines, especially for high SOC values, and the slopes of the regression lines were generally <1 because VNIRS models tended to underestimate high SOC values and overestimate low SOC. Despite the great scatter of estimates in the prediction plots, VNIRS models had reasonable explanatory power for mineral horizons, given the heterogeneity of soils and environmental conditions in Florida, and have potential for the rapid assessment of SOC, with implications for regional SOC assessments, modeling, and monitoring. However, VNIRS models for organic horizons were hampered by small sample size and had very limited explanatory power.

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Copyright © 2010. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America