Determining soil organic carbon for agricultural soils: a comparison between the Walkley & Black and the dry combustion methods (north Belgium)

Jeroen Meersmans, B Van Wesemael, Marc Van Molle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mapping soil organic carbon (SOC) and establishing any change over time are important because of CO2 fluxes between soil and atmosphere and cropland decreases in SOC. The latter is one of the main causes of soil fertility decline and increased erodibility. As most analytical methods underestimate total OSOC content, correction factors are needed to avoid methodological bias when comparing OSOC data from sampling campaigns using different analytical procedures. The traditional method for SOC analysis used to be, and in most cases still is wet oxidation in potaisum dichromate, better known as the Walkley & Black method. In this study, we aim to estimate correction factors for the classic and modified version of the Walkley & Black method for different land use and soil type combinations for agricultural soils in north Belgium. General correction factors of 1.47 for the classic Walkley & Black method and 1.20 for the modified Walkley & Black method are proposed. The results show that sandy grassland soils are characterised by lower recoveries than silt loam grassland soils. Furthermore, the correction factor appears to increase with soil wetness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
JournalSoil Use and Management
Volume25
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

Keywords

  • SOC
  • recovery
  • Walkley and Black
  • Land use
  • soil type

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