MS Research - Auburn University Agronomy and Soils Department
Sampling soils using a slide-hammer near Thomasville, GA
The focus of my Master's thesis was the evaluation of land use effects on dynamic soil properties in cultivated and native ecosystems of the southeastern US. We sampled near-surface soil properties in each of three management systems common to the Coastal Plain physiographic region to compare chemical, physical and biological properties. The overarching objective was to identify soil properties important for evaluating soil quality in these systems.
We found that 79 % of the data variability was explained by exchangeable bases, C pools, and hydraulic soil properties (indicated by multivariate analyses) which suggests these properties may be useful as a minimum data set for soil quality in these systems. Multivariate clustering of raw data indicated near-surface soil properties were more similar by management than by taxonomic classification.
Typical Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)-wiregrass (Aristida stricta) habitat near Thomasville, Georgia
Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii) plantation near Thomasville, Georgia
Conventional row cropping system near Thomasville, Georgia