Paper No. 20-7
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM
COMPARING DEEP SOIL CHEMISTRY BENEATH AN AGRICULTURAL FIELD AND A 40-YEAR-OLD RESTORED PRAIRIE
In Nebraska, soil formation and weathering has been altered in response to the transformation of natural prairies into agricultural land. Restoring natural prairies in the Midwestern United States is ongoing and has implications for carbon storage in soils. The objective of this study is to quantify chemical differences below 30 cm in a soil profile under an agricultural field and a 40-year restored prairie. We measured deep soil profiles at Glacier Creek Preserve near Bennington, Nebraska. This 130-hectare preserve contains no till agriculture on the north side and a restored prairie on the south side. Cores of soil were taken every 10 cm to depths of 930 cm on the summits of each site. Samples were analyzed for pH, organic matter, and carbonates. At both sites, the pH ranges between 4.77- 9.13 and shows acidic soil near the surface and basic soil at depth. The prairie soil is more acidic at the surface compared to the agricultural soil. Percent organic matter ranges from 0.30%-7.62% at both sites. The agricultural profile has higher percent organic matter at the surface compared to the prairie profile; below 440 cm organic matter concentrations look similar in both profiles. Percent carbonate ranges from 1.78%-13.04%. Both profiles exhibit concentrations and depletions in chemical components with depth. Ongoing data analysis will be presented upon completion. Overall, soil chemistry is important for quantifying carbon storage and these results can lead to a better understanding of the implications of different land uses.