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10 August 2017 Changes in soil organic matter over 18 yr in Prince Edward Island, Canada
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Soil fertility decline is encountered in intensively managed low-residue systems. This long-term study (1998–2015) characterized soil organic matter (SOM) changes in the province of Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. The sampling locations were based on the 4 km × 4 km National Forest Inventory grid. Five subsamples were collected within a radius of 1–6 m from the centre location at the intersecting points on the grid and at locations 100 m in each cardinal direction covering the whole province every 3 yr, for a total of six cycles. The interpolation used the regression kriging method. Means ranged from 2.8% to 3.6%, coefficients of variation ranged from 0.22 to 0.28, and residual nugget and sill values were 0.03 and 0.06, respectively. From cycle 1 to cycle 6, acreage with 2%–3% SOM increased from 10% to 73% of the total area, acreage with 3.1%–4% SOM declined from 70.6% to 24% of the total area, and acreage with >4% SOM declined from 19% to 0.8% of the total area. Areas with a history of intensive agricultural activity were associated with the lowest SOM levels (2%–3%) at the beginning of the study, and SOM levels in those areas either remained unchanged or declined (<2%) at the end of the study, suggesting a predominance of recalcitrant SOM fractions with a longer turnover rate. This long-term study highlights the need to put in place strategies to increase levels of SOM to sustain PEI soil productivity.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada as Represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Judith Nyiraneza, Barry Thompson, Xiaoyuan Geng, Juanxia He, Yefang Jiang, Sherry Fillmore, and Kyra Stiles "Changes in soil organic matter over 18 yr in Prince Edward Island, Canada," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 97(4), 745-756, (10 August 2017).
Received: 9 March 2017; Accepted: 1 June 2017; Published: 10 August 2017

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