Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Abstract

 
 
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 Soil quality can be briefly defined as how well a soil is able to function within an ecosystem. One way to assess soil quality is to use a quantitative method such as the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Soil Quality Test Kit. The kit measures various biological, physical, and chemical indicators but does not include a test for determining soil organic matter. The objectives of this study were to test two field methods for determining soil organic matter using soils from 41 sites across Alberta and to compare to measured soil organic matter and light fraction carbon obtained through conventional laboratory analyses.

The first field method determines active carbon utilizing a deep purple solution of potassium permanganate, which is reduced to a lighter color when it reacts with soil organic carbon. This color change is quantitatively measured using a colorimeter. The second field method visually estimates soil organic matter and involves a solution of Basic Ethylenedinitro Tetraacetic Acid. The color of this solution is dependent upon the amount of soil organic matter in each sample. Results indicate that the method for determining active carbon showed a strong relationship between measured soil organic matter and active carbon (R2=0.82), but a weak relationship between light fraction carbon and active carbon (R2=0.18). A relationship was found between the visually estimated soil organic matter values and conventional laboratory results (R2=0.67). Based on our findings both methods have the potential to become an integral part of the USDA-ARS Soil Quality Test Kit for measuring soil organic matter in Alberta.

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Other Documents in the Series

 
  Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Abstract - Current Document
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Introduction
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Results and Discussion
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Conclusions and References
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 1 - Methodologies for Field Tests
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 2 - Lab Procedures for LFC and OM (%)
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 3 - Tests for Variability in Methodology
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 4 - Procedure for Active C Test
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 5 - Procedure for Basic EDTA Test
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 6 - Descriptive Statistics for Results of Active C Methods
Evaluation of Two Field Methods to Estimate Soil Organic Matter In Alberta Soils: Appendix 7 - Descriptive Statistics for Results of Basic EDTA Method
 
 
 
 
For more information about the content of this document, contact Len Kryzanowski.
This document is maintained by Deb Sutton.
This information published to the web on April 30, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 6, 2014.