ASSESSMENT OF SOIL ORGANIC CARBON CONTENT IN VEGETAL COMMUNITIES OF A CHILEAN PATAGONIAN FARM: IMPLICATIONS FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION
Abstract - This experiment aimedto investigatethe effect of different vegetal communities on soil organic carbon (SOC)content across three distinct soildepths in the steppe region in the Chilean Patagonian. Estimating SOC for an entire livestock farm, which typically spans ca.5,000 ha, presents a great challenge. To address this, soil sampling was conducted to determine bulk density, followed by SOC assessment based on these samples for two specific vegetal communities, wet meadows community known as “vegas” and the bushes community. The results revealed significant differences in SOC content dependingon the evaluated vegetal community.Specifically, the vegascommunity exhibited a higher SOC content (86 g•kg-1)compared to the bushes community (56 g•kg-1). Furthermore, the first horizon within the vegascommunity displayed a higher SOC levels compared to the remaining depths in both vegetal communities. These findings shed light on the complex relationship between vegetal communities and SOC content, emphasizing the need for targeted strategies to manage soil organic carbon in agricultural practices, particularly in the context of climate change mitigation.
Keywords - Soil Organic Carbon, Rangelands, Bulk Density, Vegetal Communities.