How does residue management impact soil organic matter composition and quality under Eucalyptus globulus plantations in southwestern Australia?
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This study investigated the influence of harvest residue management practices on soil organic matter (SOM) composition and quality from two second-rotation Eucalyptus globulus plantations in southwestern Australia, using solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with cross-polarisation and magic-angle-spinning (CPMAS). Soil samples (0-5 cm) were collected every 12 months for 5 years from two sites that had contrasting soil types and fertility. Harvest residue management treatments established at both sites were (a) no harvest residues; and (b) double harvest residues. The use of 13C CPMAS and DD NMR spectroscopy enabled the successful non-destructive detection of SOM quality changes in the two E. globulus plantations. Relative intensities of 13C CPMAS NMR spectral regions were similar at both sites, and for both harvest residue treatments, indicating that SOM composition was also similar. Dipolar dephasing (DD) NMR spectra revealed resonances in SOM assigned to lignin and tannin structures, with larger resonances in the carbonyl and alkyl C regions that were indicative of cuticular material, enabling detection of changes in SOM quality. Retention of double harvest residues on the soil surface increased the soil quality compared with removal of all harvest residues at both sites as indicated by the NMR aromaticities, but this was most noticeable at Manjimup, which had greater initial soil fertility.
Forest Ecology and management
HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY