Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1242–1251 | Cite as

Soil organic carbon as a key predictor of N in forest soils of Brazil

  • Silas O. L. Calazans
  • Vinicius A. Morais
  • José R.S. Scolforo
  • Yuri L. Zinn
  • José M. Mello
  • Luana T. Mancini
  • Carlos A. Silva
Natural Organic Matter: Chemistry, Function and Fate in the Environment

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the ancillary knowledge that soil N is chiefly retained as soil organic matter, little is known about how it is affected by other soil and environmental factors, especially in the tropics. In this study, we performed a comprehensive survey of soils under native vegetation in Minas Gerais, Brazil, aiming to (a) measure soil Kjeldahl-N concentrations to a 1-m depth, (b) identify the main affecting factors of soil N retention, and (c) predict N through soil profile based on organic C (SOC) and its main conditioning factors.

Materials and methods

Soils under 36 fragments of native forest and savanna were sampled at five depths (0–10, 10–20, 20–40, 40–60, and 60–100 cm) and characterized by physical and chemical analyses, including total N determined by the micro-Kjeldahl method. Single and multivariate regressions were used to predict N concentrations based on soil properties and climatic factors.

Results and discussion

The average N concentrations ranged between 0.12 and 7.54 g kg−1, decreasing with depth, and can be predicted using SOC concentrations (R 2 = 0.86). Multivariate regressions using more input data, namely texture, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and altitude increased slightly R 2 values (0.68–0.90) for separate soil depths, but not for the whole dataset (R 2 = 0.85).

Conclusions

We demonstrated that N can be adequately predicted based on SOC concentrations, for any depth and forest type. The implications of the stable SOC/N relation and their coupled cycles and the environmental factors affecting N retention in Brazilian weathered soils are further discussed.

Keywords

C and N soil cycles Cerrado Soil texture Pedotransfer functions Tropical forest Weathered Brazilian soils 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was funded by the CNPq (process 308592/2011-5), Fapemig (process CAG - APQ 00291-11), and Cemig. The authors are grateful to the staff of the Department of Forest Science (Lemaf), Federal University of Lavras, involved in field sampling, processing, preparation and some of laboratory analysis of soil samples. We thank student Henrique J. G. M. Maluf (Federal University of Lavras) for the help with the principal component analysis.

References

  1. Alvarez R, Lavado RS (1998) Climate, organic matter and clay content relationships in the Pampa Chaco soils, Argentina. Geoderma 83:127–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrouays D, Pelissier P (1994) Modeling carbon storage profiles in temperate forest humic loamy soil of France. Soil Sci 157:185–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldock JA, Nelson PN (2000) Soil organic matter. In: Summer M (ed) Handbook of soil science. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  4. Barry RG, Chorley RJ (2003) Atmosphere, weather and climate. 8th ed. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Benites VM, Machado PLOA, Fidalgo ECC, Coelho MR, Madari BE (2007) Pedotransfer functions for estimating soil bulk density from existing soil survey reports in Brazil. Geoderma 139:90–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Berhongaray G et al (2013) Land use effects on soil carbon in the Argentine Pampas. Geoderma 192:97–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bouyoucos GJ (1962) Hydrometer method improved for making particle size analyses of soils. Agron J 54:464–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brady NC, Weil RR (2004) The nature and properties of soils. Prentice-Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Brasil (1992) Ministério da Agricultura e Reforma Agrária. Departamento Nacional de Meteorologia. Normas Climatológicas: 1961–1990. Mapa, BrasíliaGoogle Scholar
  10. Bremner JM (1996) Nitrogen total. In: Sparks DL (ed) Methods of soil analysis, part 3: chemical methods. Soil Science Society of America, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  11. Calazans SOL (2014) Nitrogênio do solo sob vegetação native em Minas Gerais: teores, estoques e modelagem. UFLA, LavrasGoogle Scholar
  12. Callesen I et al (2003) Soil carbon in Nordic well-drained forest soils relationships with climate and texture class. Glob Change Biol 9:358–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Camargo FAO, Gianello C, Vidor C (1997) Potencial de mineralização do nitrogênio em solos do Rio Grande do Sul. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 21:575–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cameron KC, DI HJ, Moir JL (2013) Nitrogen losses from the soil/plant system: a review. Annal Appl Biol 162:145–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cantarella H, Quaggio JÁ, Raij B (2001) Determinação da matéria orgânica. In: Raij B, Andrade JC, Cantarella H, Quaggio JA (eds) Análise química para avaliação da fertilidade de solos tropicais. Instituto Agronômico, Campinas, pp. 173–180Google Scholar
  16. Cardoso EL et al (2010) Estoques de carbono e nitrogênio em solo sob florestas nativas e pastagens no bioma Pantanal. Pesq Agrop Brasileira 45:1028–1035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cole CV et al (1993) Analysis of agroecosystem carbon pools. Water Air Soil Pollut 70:357–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Côté L et al (2000) Dynamics of carbon and nitrogen mineralization in relation to stand type, stand age and soil texture in the boreal mixedwood. Soil Biol Biochem 32:1079–1090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. D’Andréa AF et al (2004) Estoque de carbono e nitrogênio e formas de nitrogênio mineral em um solo submetido a diferentes sistemas de manejo. Pesq Agrop Brasileira 39:179–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Feller C, Albrecht A, Tessier D (1996) Aggregation and organic matter storage in kaolinitic and smectitic tropical soils. In: Carter MR, Stewart BA (eds) Structure and organic matter storage in agricultural soils. Lewis, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  21. Fornara DA, Tilman D (2008) Plant functional composition influences rates of soil carbon and nitrogen accumulation. J Ecol 96:314–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Garten Junior CT et al (1999) Forest soil carbon inventories and dynamics along an elevation gradient in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Biogeochemistry 45:115–145Google Scholar
  23. Giardina CP et al (2001) Tree species and soil textural controls on carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates. Soil Sci Soc Am J 65:1272–1279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Glendining MJ et al (2011) Pedotransfer functions for estimating total soil nitrogen up to the global scale. Eur J Soil Sci 62:13–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grossman RB, Reinsch TG (2002) Bulk density and linear extensibility. In: Dane JH, Topp C (eds) Methods of soil analysis: physical methods. Soil Science Society of America, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  26. Helling CS et al (1964) Contribution of Organic Matter and Clay to Soil Cation-Exchange Capacity as Affected by the pH of the Saturating Solution1. Soil Sci Soc Am J 28:517--520Google Scholar
  27. Jenny H (1941) Factors of soil formation: a system of quantitative pedology. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Jobbágy EG, Jackson RB (2000) The vertical distribution of soil organic carbon and its relation to climate and vegetation. J Appl Ecol 10:423–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kirschbaum MUF (1995) The temperature dependence of soil organic matter decomposition, and the effect of global warming on soil organic C storage. Soil Biology and Bioch 27:753--760Google Scholar
  30. Knops JMH, Bradley KL (2009) Soil carbon and nitrogen accumulation and vertical distribution across a 74-year chronosequence. Soil Sci Soc Am J 73:2096–2104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lemenith M, Itanna F (2004) Soil carbon stocks and turnovers in various vegetation type and arable lands along an elevation gradient in southern Ethiopia. Geoderma 123:177–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Maia SMF et al (2008) Nitrogen fractions in a Luvisol under agroforestry and conventional systems in the semi-arid zone of Ceará, Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 32:381–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Maia SM et al (2009) Effect of grassland management on soil carbon sequestration in Rondônia and Mato Grosso states, Brazil. Geoderma 149:84–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mendonça ES, Rowell DL (1996) Mineral and organic fractions of two Oxisols and their influence on effective cation-exchange capacity. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60:1888–1892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nelson DW, Sommers LE (1996) Total carbon, organic carbon, and organic matter. In: Black CA (ed.) Methods of soil analysis. Part 3. Chemical methods. Soil Science of America and American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 961–1010Google Scholar
  36. Oades JM (1988) The retention of organic matter in soils. Biogeochemistry 5:35–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oksanen J, Guillaume Blanchet F, Kindt R, Legendre P, Minchin PR, O’Hara RB, Simpson GV, Solymos P, Henry M, Stevens H, Wagner H (2015) Vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2:2–1 http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan Google Scholar
  38. Post WM et al (1985) Global patterns of soil nitrogen storage. Nature 317:613–616CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Quideau SA et al (2001) A direct link between forest vegetation type and soil organic matter composition. Geoderma 104:41–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Raij B, Andrade JC, Cantarella H, Quaggio JA (2001) Análise química para avaliação da fertilidade de solos tropicais. Instituto Agronômico, CampinasGoogle Scholar
  41. Rangel OJP et al (2008) Carbono orgânico e nitrogênio total do solo e suas relações com os espaçamentos de plantio de cafeeiro. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 32:2051–2059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rashidi M, Seilsepour M (2009) Modeling of soil nitrogen based on soil organic carbon. ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science 4:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reich PB et al (1997) Nitrogen mineralization and productivity in 50 hardwood and conifer stands on diverse soils. Ecology 78:335–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Schlesinger WH (1997) Biogeochemistry: an analysis of global change. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar
  45. Scolforo HF, Scolforo JRS, Mello CR, Mello JM, Ferraz Filho AC (2015) Spatial distribution of aboveground carbon stock of the arboreal vegetation in Brazilian biomes of savanna, Atlantic forest and semi-arid woodland. PLoS One 10:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Seybold CA et al (2005) Predicting Cation Exchange Capacity for Soil Survey Using Linear Models. Soil Sci. Soc. Am J 69:856--863Google Scholar
  47. Silva CA, Vale FR, Guilherme LRG (1994) Efeito da calagem na mineralização do nitrogênio em solos de Minas Gerais. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 18:471–476Google Scholar
  48. Silva CA, Vale FR, Fernandes LA (1999) Nitrificação em amostras de onze solos de Minas Gerais sob influência da correção da acidez. Revista Ceres 46:457–470Google Scholar
  49. Silva JE et al (2004) Carbon storage in clayey Oxisol cultivated pastures in the “Cerrado” region, Brazil. Agr Ecosyst Environ, Amsterdam 103:357–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Six J et al (2002) Measuring and understanding carbon storage in afforested soils by physical fractionation. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:1981–1987CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Skorupa ALA et al (2012) Propriedades de solos sob vegetação nativa em Minas Gerais: distribuição por fitofisionomia, hidrografia e variabilidade espacial. Revista Brasileira de Ciência do Solo 36:11–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sparks DL et al (eds) (1996) Methods of soil analysis: chemical methods. Soil Science Society of America, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  53. Stevenson FJ (1994) Humus chemistry: genesis, composition, reactions, 2nd edn. John Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  54. Vejre H et al (2003) Carbon and nitrogen in Danish forest soils: contents and distribution determined by soil order. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:335–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wang SQ et al (2004) Vertical distribution of soil organic carbon in China. J Environ Manag 33:200–209Google Scholar
  56. Wang S et al (2005) Gradient distribution of soil nitrogen and its response to climate change along the Northeast China Transect. Chin J Appl Ecol 16:279–283Google Scholar
  57. Wu HB, Guo ZT, Peng CH (2003) Land-use induced changes of organic carbon storage in soils of China. Glob Change Biol 9:305–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Xu RI, Prentice IC (2008) Terrestrial nitrogen cycle simulation with a dynamic global vegetation model. Glob Change Biol 14:1745–1764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yang YH et al (2010) Vertical patterns of soil carbon, nitrogen and carbon: nitrogen stoichiometry in Tibetan grasslands. Biogeosci Discuss 7:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Zinn YL, Lal R, Resck DVS (2005) Texture and organic carbon relations described by a profile pedotransfer function for Brazilian Cerrado soils. Geoderma 127:168–173Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silas O. L. Calazans
    • 1
  • Vinicius A. Morais
    • 2
  • José R.S. Scolforo
    • 2
  • Yuri L. Zinn
    • 1
  • José M. Mello
    • 2
  • Luana T. Mancini
    • 2
  • Carlos A. Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil ScienceFederal University of LavrasLavrasBrazil
  2. 2.Department of ForestryFederal University of LavrasLarvasBrazil

Personalised recommendations