Current issue: 53(4)
Under compilation: 54(1)
Spatial variation in the density of soil organic carbon (kg/m2) and the thickness of soil horizons (F/H, E) were investigated in a 6 m x 8 m area in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stand in Southern Finland for designing an effective sampling for the C density and studying the effect of trees on the variation. The horizon thickness of the podzolized soil were measured on a total of 126 soil cores (50 cm deep) and the C density of the organic F/H and 0–10 cm, 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm mineral soil layers was analysed.
The C density varied 3–5 fold within the layers and the coefficients of variation ranged from 22 % to 40%. Considering the gain in confidence per sample, 8–10 samples were suggested for estimating the mean C density in the F/H and 0–40 cm layers, although about 30 samples are needed for 10% confidence in the mean. The C densities and horizon thicknesses were spatially dependent within the distances of 1–8 m, the spatial dependence accounting for 43–86% of the total variance. The F/H layer was thicker and contained more C within 1–3 m radius from trees. In the 10–20 cm and 20–40 cm layers (B horizon) the C density also increased towards the trees, but more pronouncedly in the immediate vicinity of the stems. Because the spatial patterning of the E horizon thickness was similar, the increase was attributed to stemflow and precipitation of organic compounds in the podzol B horizon.