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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 2, p. 658-662
    Received: Apr 1, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): jbedison@sas.upenn.edu
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A Comparison of Soil Organic Matter Content in 1932, 1984, and 2005/6 in Forests of the Adirondack Mountains, New York

  1. James E Bedison *a,
  2. Arthur H. Johnsona and
  3. Sally Andersen Willigb
  1. a Dep. of Earth and Environmental Science, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 240 S. 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
    b College of Liberal and Professional Studies, Univ. of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19104


We quantified the organic matter content of organic and mineral horizons in 1932, 1984, and in 2005/6 at 54 sites in a mixed hardwood-softwood stand and in northern hardwood (NH), pine-dominated (PW), and spruce-fir (SF) forests of the Adirondack Mountains, NY to determine if there were measurable changes in soil organic matter (SOM) pools over the ∼75-yr interval. Further, the different land-use histories of these sites provided an opportunity to evaluate the influence of land-use history on forest SOM since the early 1930s. Overall, there were no significant differences in combined organic + mineral horizon (whole-profile) SOM amounts over the interval. There was, however, a significant increase in whole-profile SOM content between 1932 and 2005/6 at 16 sites that had a history of agriculture or fire which amounted to an increase in C content of approximately 0.5 Mg C ha−1yr−1 This indicated that at least some Adirondack forest soils were accumulating C during the 20th century.

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