Independent observation of the effects
of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) with soil moisture
content (SMC) is essential to quantify their potential relationships for
sustainable ecosystems. Soil water retention studies and soil carbon stocks
have been mapped in some areas worldwide. However, few studies have been conducted
in the southeastern US, particularly in Mississippi.
The objectives of this research study were to collect soil samples from fields
chosen to be representative of the watersheds they are contained within,
analyze the soil samples for carbon content and soil moisture content, and
evaluate the relationship between SOC and different parameters (land use,
vertical distribution, temporal distribution, and soil moisture content). Field
sites were chosen based on their compositional similarity shared with the
watershed as a whole in the Town Creek watershed (TCW) and Upper Pearl River
watershed (UPRW) in Mississippi.
Monthly soil samples from different depths (6 inch, 12 inch, and 24 inch) were
collected from crop, pasture, and forest field areas. Soil samples were
analyzed using bench analysis, elemental analysis, and statistical analysis.
This study was able to demonstrate the SOC distribution in the soil layers
across all three land uses studied. It was also shown that there does seem to
be an interactive effect of parameters such as land use type, vertical
distribution, and time on carbon accretion within the soil. Results of this
study also determined that the near surface (6-in) layer was found to contain
significantly more carbon than either the 12 inch or 24 inch layers (p < 0.01) across all field types. There
was found to be a high degree of variability within the soil moisture data and
correlation between SOC and SMC. It was found that carbon amount is not
influenced by SMC but SMC could be influenced by SOC.
Cite this paper
P. Parajuli and S. Duffy, "Evaluation of Soil Organic Carbon and Soil Moisture Content from Agricultural Fields in Mississippi," Open Journal of Soil Science
, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 81-90. doi: 10.4236/ojss.2013.32009
 D. Reay and M. Pidwirny, “Carbon Dioxide,” In: C. J. Cleveland, Ed., Encyclopedia of Earth, 2011.
 V. Yadav, G. P. Malanson, E. Bekele and C. Lant, “Modeling Watershed-Scale Sequestration of Soil Organic Car bon for Carbon Credit Programs,”. Applied Geography, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2009, pp. 488-500.
 N. H. Batjes, “Total Carbon and Nitrogen in the Soils of the World,” European Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 47, No. 2, 1996, pp. 151-163.
 R. A. Houghton, “The Contemporary Carbon Cycle,” In: W. H Schlesinger, Ed., Biogeochemistry, Elsevier Science, 2005, pp. 473-513.
 US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry,” 2011.
 B. R. Wilson, T. B. Koen, P. Barnes, S. Ghosh and D. King, “Soil Carbon and Related Soil Properties along a Soil Type and Landuse Intensity Gradient, New South Wales, Australia,” Soil Use and Management, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2011. pp. 437-447.
 R. Lal and R. F. Follett, “Soil Carbon Sequestration and the Greenhouse Effect,” 2nd Edition, Soil Science Society of America, Madison, 2009.
 R. Lal, “Soil Carbon Sequestration Impacts on Global Climate Change and Food Security,” Science, Vol. 304, No. 5677, 2004. pp. 1623-1627.
 S. M. Ogle, F. J. Breidt, M. D. Eve and K. Paustian, “Uncertainty in Estimating Land Use and Management Impacts on Soil Organic Carbon Storage for US Agricultural Lands between 1982 and 1997,” Global Change Biology, Vol. 9, No. 11, 2003. pp. 1521-1542.
 K. Y. Chan, M. K. Conyers, G. D. Li, K. R. Helyar, G. Poile, A. Oates and I. M. Barchia, “Soil Carbon Dynamics under Different Cropping and Pasture Management in Temperate Australia: Results of Three Long-Term Experiments,” Soil Research, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2011. pp. 320-328. doi:10.1071/SR10185
 E. G. Jobbágy and R. B. Jackson, “The Vertical Distribution of Soil Organic Carbon and Its Relation to Climate and Vegetation,” Ecological Applications, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2000, pp. 423-436.
 M. S. Moran, C. D. Peters-Lidard, J. M. Watts and S. McElroy, “Estimating Soil Moisture at the Watershed Scale with Satellite-Based Radar and Land Surface Models,” Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 30, No. 5, 2004, pp. 805-826. doi:10.5589/m04-043
 E. Han, “Soil Moisture Data assimilation at Multiple Scales and Estimation of Representative Field Scale Soil Moisture Characteristics,” Ph.D. Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, 2011.
 W. J. Rawls, Y. A. Pachepsky, J. C. Ritchie, T. M. Sobecki and H. Bloodworth, “Effect of Soil Organic Carbon on Soil Water Retention,” Geoderma, Vol. 116, No. 1-2, 2003, pp. 61-76. doi:10.1016/S0016-7061(03)00094-6
 National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), “Locate Weather Observation Station Record,” 2011.
 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), “Mississippi Conservation Security Program (CSP),” 2011.
 US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “Waterbody Report for Town Creek,” 2006.
 US Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS), “Mississippi County Data Livestock.United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),” 2011.
 Pearl River Basin Development District (PRBDD), “Pearl River Basin Development District: Topography and History,” 2011.
 Google Inc., “Google Earth (Version 126.96.36.19913) [Software],” 2012. http://www.google.com/earth/
 M. C. Garber, “Soil Survey for Lee County Mississippi,” United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, US Government Printing Office, 1973, p. 8.
 US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), “US General Soil Map (STATSGO2) for Mississippi,” 2006.
 F. T. Scott, “Soil Survey for Madison County, Mississippi,” United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, US Government Printing Office, 1984, pp. 2-13.
 P. Donovan, “Measuring Soil Carbon Change: A Flexible, Practical, Local Method,” 2012.
 Costech Instruments, “Elemental Combustion System CHNS-O,” 2006. www.costechanalytical.com
 SAS Institute Inc., “The GLIMMIX procedure,” 2006.