CHARCOAL REMAINS IN LITCHFIELD COUNTY CONNECTICUT RECORD WIDESPREAD HILLSLOPE DISTURBANCE IN THE IRON CORRIDOR FROM MID-18TH TO EARLY 20TH CENTURIES AND PRESENT DAY CARBON STORAGE
The forests of southern New England convert a significant amount of atmospheric CO2 to organic matter, a portion of which is stored in soils. Understanding changes to this regional C sink is therefore important for understanding CO2 cycling at a global level. Mound construction mixed the upper meter of local sediment such that texture and moisture retention of the mounds differs from those of background sediments. The upper 10 to 40 cm of relict mounds are rich in charcoal and have high C/N ratios compared to soils on adjacent hillslopes. The concentration of charcoal in the upper meter of the mounds is about 5%, or about 2.5% C. By weight, this suggests that up to 31,800 kg of C is stored in forest soils over the entire study area due to historic charcoal production. C concentration in soils outside the mounds likely contain an average concentration of C in the upper meter that is <2%, and this C would be concentrated in the uppermost layers of the soil profile (<15-20 cm).