Impact of Soil Restoration, Management, and Land-Use History on Forest-Soil Carbon
Changes in land use affect several soil properties, particularly soil carbon and nitrogen, which are important in determining soil fertility. The largest changes in soil properties occur when land is converted between forest and agricultural use for row crops. The variation and systematic changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) are related to changes in the productivity of the vegetation, physical and biological conditions in the soil, and the past history of soil organic carbon inputs and physical disturbance. The large and rapid changes in SOC with cultivation indicate that there is considerable potential to enhance the rate of carbon sequestration in soil with management activities that reverse the effects of cultivation on SOC pools. To obtain a higher-precision predictive capability of detecting changes in SOC, additional empirical studies are needed combined with a better understanding of the biological and physical processes involved.