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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 3 No. C, p. 123-128

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The Effect of Erosion on Losses of Soil Organic Matter1

  1. C. S. Slater and
  2. E. A. Carleton2

Summary and Conclusions

Summary and Conclusions

A correlation has been shown between the decrease in organic matter content of a series of plot soils, and the amount of erosion that occurred. Determinable depletion occurred only at the higher erosion rates. This circumstance leads to the inference that many reported depletions of organic matter, formerly attributed to oxidation, may have been erosional effects.

In the soils examined, depletion of organic matter appeared to be a linear function of erosion. The organic matter percentage of the soil dropped 0.002 percent at both the Clarinda and Bethany stations for each ton of soil lost by erosion.

It is shown that the amount of organic matter removed by erosion is greater than the corresponding depletion indicated by analyses of the plot soils, consequently, restoration to an original organic matter level does not compensate for losses of “reserve” organic matter.

For a fallow plot on which the greatest erosion occurred, it was estimated that erosion had increased the depletion of organic matter to eighteen times that normally lost by oxidation, and that to maintain the organic matter at the original level it would be necessary to apply as much as 9.2 tons of clover hay annually.

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