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Revealing three-dimensional biogeochemical patterns in the forest


Biogeochemical soil processes and fluxes are governed by physical, chemical, and biological properties, which can highly vary in space and time. Current knowledge on biogeochemical processes and fluxes in forested systems is, however, hampered by to the scarcity of datasets that can provide such information.   

Soil sampling

The January–February 2017 issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality contains a new biogeochemical dataset that provides a high-resolution, three-dimensional view on soil properties in forested ecosystems. The dataset includes 604 sampling locations in a 27-ha region, including a variety of soil chemical parameters (pH, P, K, Mn, Fe, Na, C, N, S, Ca, NO3–N, and SO42–) and soil physical information (bulk density, texture, and soil description).

Using an exploratory analysis, the research team shows the manifold of potential applications of the dataset, which provides information on the spatial variability of biogeochemical soil properties within a single soil horizon and among layers. Additionally, the dataset can be combined with additional hydrological flux information from the TERENO portal (www.tereno.net), thus providing a unique input for future coupled hydrology–biogeochemistry modeling studies.   

Read the full article in JEQ. Free preview Jan 23 - Jan 30.