Transformation of organic carbon in alluvial soils under different land uses

  • Alvyra Šlepetienė
  • Kazimiež Duchovski
  • Jonas Volungevičius
Keywords: Fluvisol, Arenosol, alluvial deposits, organic carbon, Tyurin method, labile carbon, pH


The aim of this study – to evaluate the status of organic carbon (OC) under different land uses of soils formed in alluvial deposits. The soil samples were collected from 0–10, 10–20 and 20–30 cm depths in three field replicates.Three land uses were investigated: arable land, grassland and forest. The experimental site is situated near Surviliškis, Kėdainiai District (55°26′08.37′′N, 24°02′27.75′′Y) in Central Lowland of Lithuania. A total of 27 soil samples, collected from 0–10, 10–20 and 20–30 cm depths in three field replicates, were analysed for OC. The samples were prepared for analysis by removing plant residues, grinding and sieving through a 0.25 mm sieve. For all land uses, the highest content of OC was found in the upper 0–10 cm soil layer of the soil, with the highest values found in the forest land use. Fast-growing deciduous trees are an effective means to increase the content of OC in alluvial soil, especially in the 0–10 cm layer. The distribution of OC in the soil layers depended on the land use. Grassland and forest land uses allow OC to be preserved throughout the 0–30 cm layer, with less OC differentiation than in arable land. This could be attributed to the specificities of organic matter accumulation and degradation in different land uses. Not only the amount of labile organic carbon (similar to total organic carbon) was highest (0.392 g kg–1) in forest soil in the 0–10 cm layer, it also had a higher relative share in the total organic carbon (2.9%) than in other land uses – arable land and grassland (2.3–2.4%).