Spatial distribution of the soil organic carbon pool in a Holm oak dehesa in Spain uri icon


  • A significant positive correlation between tree presence and soil organic carbon stocks up to distances of around 8 m from the trees was found. The tree crown cover within a buffer up to a distance similar to the crown radius around the point absorbed 30 % of the variance in the model for both grazing intensities, but residual variance showed stronger spatial autocorrelation under regular grazing conditions.
  • Dehesas are agroforestry systems characterized by scattered trees among pastures, crops and/or fallows. A study at a Spanish dehesa has been carried out to estimate the spatial distribution of the soil organic carbon stock and to assess the influence of the tree cover.
  • The soil organic carbon stock was estimated from the five uppermost cm of the mineral soil with high spatial resolution at two plots with different grazing intensities. The Universal Kriging technique was used to assess the spatial distribution of the soil organic carbon stocks, using tree coverage within a buffering area as an auxiliary variable.
  • Tree cover increases soil organic carbon stocks, and can be satisfactorily estimated by means of crown parameters. However, other factors are involved in the spatial pattern of the soil organic carbon distribution. Livestock plays an interactive role together with tree presence in soil organic carbon distribution.

publication date

  • 2013
  • 2013