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Does the Slope Aspect Influence the Soil Organic Matter Concentration in Forest Soils?

Published: 13 September 2022
 by  MDPI
 in Forests

Abstract: Forest soils belong to the major carbon sinks on Earth because of their high organic matter content. Forest soils from Europe store approximately 1.5 times more carbon than trees (EC/UN-ECE 2003). As dystric cambisol (2,292,385 ha) and eutric cambisol (869,909 ha) are the most widespread forest soils in Romania, we studied 5958 dystric cambisol pedogenetic horizons and 6784 eutric cambisol pedogenetic horizons. A series of correlations was made between soil organic matter and elevation, but also with tree age and stand production class. The differences between stratified soil organic matter in terms of slope aspect categories were tested, and multiple linear regression was used to determine the influences of some relief (elevation) and stand (age) characteristics on the soil organic matter content. Overall, the soil organic matter content increased with increasing elevation. Based on all 12,742 soil samples over a period of 33 years, the soil organic matter content is influenced by elevation and tree age, especially on shaded and partially shaded slope aspects.
Keywords: dystric cambisol / eutric cambisol / organic carbon / slope aspect

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