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Studies of tropical soil organic carbon (SOC) response to deforestation presentconflicting results, confounding estimates of the regional effects of land-cover change oncarbon storage. We calculated the change in SOC stocks due to deforestation through1996 for the state of Rondołnia, Brazil, in the southwestern Amazon basin. Whereas thenet change in SOC for the state as a whole was slightly negative (0.5% or 5012 Gg),spatially explicit maps suggest dramatic local changes, ranging from 76% to +74%,with outliers as high as +330%. The direction and magnitude of change in SOC followingforest clearing is related to original forest soil carbon and pH, which in turn provides ageneral measure for overall nutrient availability and possible toxicities. When native soilcarbon is high, SOC decreases in response to land-cover conversion from forest topasture; conversely, low soil carbon and low soil fertility lead to gains in carbon underpasture. Mapping variability, rather than relying on large-area averages, illustrates whyresults from individual field sites have been contradictory.Studies of tropical soil organic carbon (SOC) response to deforestation presentconflicting results, confounding estimates of the regional effects of land-cover change oncarbon storage. We calculated the change in SOC stocks due to deforestation through1996 for the state of Rondołnia, Brazil, in the southwestern Amazon basin. Whereas thenet change in SOC for the state as a whole was slightly negative (0.5% or 5012 Gg),spatially explicit maps suggest dramatic local changes, ranging from 76% to +74%,with outliers as high as +330%. The direction and magnitude of change in SOC followingforest clearing is related to original forest soil carbon and pH, which in turn provides ageneral measure for overall nutrient availability and possible toxicities. When native soilcarbon is high, SOC decreases in response to land-cover conversion from forest topasture; conversely, low soil carbon and low soil fertility lead to gains in carbon underpasture. Mapping variability, rather than relying on large-area averages, illustrates whyresults from individual field sites have been contradictory.Studies of tropical soil organic carbon (SOC) response to deforestation presentconflicting results, confounding estimates of the regional effects of land-cover change oncarbon storage. We calculated the change in SOC stocks due to deforestation through1996 for the state of Rondołnia, Brazil, in the southwestern Amazon basin. Whereas thenet change in SOC for the state as a whole was slightly negative (0.5% or 5012 Gg),spatially explicit maps suggest dramatic local changes, ranging from 76% to +74%,with outliers as high as +330%. The direction and magnitude of change in SOC followingforest clearing is related to original forest soil carbon and pH, which in turn provides ageneral measure for overall nutrient availability and possible toxicities. When native soilcarbon is high, SOC decreases in response to land-cover conversion from forest topasture; conversely, low soil carbon and low soil fertility lead to gains in carbon underpasture. Mapping variability, rather than relying on large-area averages, illustrates whyresults from individual field sites have been contradictory.conflicting results, confounding estimates of the regional effects of land-cover change oncarbon storage. We calculated the change in SOC stocks due to deforestation through1996 for the state of Rondołnia, Brazil, in the southwestern Amazon basin. Whereas thenet change in SOC for the state as a whole was slightly negative (0.5% or 5012 Gg),spatially explicit maps suggest dramatic local changes, ranging from 76% to +74%,with outliers as high as +330%. The direction and magnitude of change in SOC followingforest clearing is related to original forest soil carbon and pH, which in turn provides ageneral measure for overall nutrient availability and possible toxicities. When native soilcarbon is high, SOC decreases in response to land-cover conversion from forest topasture; conversely, low soil carbon and low soil fertility lead to gains in carbon underpasture. Mapping variability, rather than relying on large-area averages, illustrates whyresults from individual field sites have been contradictory.

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