Charcoal Carbon in U.S. Agricultural Soils

Author: 
Tom Miles


Charcoal Carbon in U.S. Agricultural Soils
Jan O. Skjemstad*,a, Donald C. Reicoskyb, Alan R. Wiltsb and Janine A. McGowana
Soil Science Society of America Journal (SSSAJ), 66:1249-1255 (2002)

a CSIRO Land and Water and CRC for Greenhouse Accounting, Private Bag No. 2, Glen Osmond, SA, Australia 5064
b USDA-ARS, North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab, 803 Iowa Ave., Morris, MN 56267
* Corresponding author (Jan.Skjemstad@csiro.au)

Abstract
High levels of charcoal C resulting from repeated historical burning of grasslands, open woodlands, and agricultural crop residues have been reported in soils from Australia and Germany. In this study, five U.S. soils were selected from long-term research plots in widely different agricultural areas. The charcoal C content was estimated on each soil using a combination of physical separation, high energy photo-oxidation and solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These analyses showed that all five soils contained measurable amounts of charcoal C,