, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 183–197 | Cite as

Density of organic carbon in soil at coniferous forest sites in southern Finland

  • Jari Liski
  • Carl Johan Westman


More detailed knowledge of the density of organic carbon in soils of boreal forests is needed for accurate estimates of the size of this C stock. We investigated the effect of vegetation type and associated site fertility on the C density at 30 mature coniferous forest sites in southern Finland and evaluated the importance of deep layers to the total C store in the soil by extending the sampling at eight of the sites to the depth of ground water level (2.4–4.6 m). The C density in the organic horizon plus 1 m thick mineral soil layer ranged from 4.0 kg/m2 to 11.9 kg/m2, and, on the average, increased towards the more productive vegetation types. Between the depth of 1 m and the ground water level the C density averaged 1.3–2.4 kg/m2 at the studied vegetation types and these layers represented 18–28% of the total stock of C in the soil. The results emphasize the importance of also considering these deep layers to correctly estimate the total amount of C in these soils. At the least fertile sites the soil contained about 30% more C than phytomass, whereas at the more fertile sites the amount of C in soil was about 10% less than the amount bound in vegetation.

Key words

boreal forests carbon cycle carbon pools podzols soil carbon 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jari Liski
    • 1
  • Carl Johan Westman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest EcologyUniversity of HelsinkiUniversity of HelsinkiFinland

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