Linking aboveground net primary productivity to soil carbon and dissolved organic carbon in complex terrain Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF

This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by American Geophysical Union and can be found at:


Attribute NameValues
  • Factors influencing soil organic matter (SOM) stabilization and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content in complex terrain, where vegetation, climate, and topography vary over the scale of a few meters, are not well understood. We examined the spatial correlations of lidar and geographic information system-derived landscape topography, empirically measured soil characteristics, and current and historical vegetation composition and structure versus SOM fractions and DOC pools and leaching on a small catchment (WS1) in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, located in the western Cascades Range of Oregon, USA. We predicted that aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), litter fall, and nitrogen mineralization would be positively correlated with SOM, DOC, and carbon (C) content of the soil based on the principle that increased C inputs cause C stores in and losses from in the soil. We expected that in tandem, certain microtopographical and microclimatic characteristics might be associated with elevated C inputs and correspondingly, soil C stores and losses. We confirmed that on this site, positive relationships exist between ANPP, C inputs (litter fall), and losses (exportable DOC), but we did not find that these relationships between ANPP, inputs, and exports were translated to SOM stores (mg C/g soil), C content of the soil (% C/g soil), or DOC pools (determined with salt and water extractions). We suggest that the biogeochemical processes controlling C storage and lability in soil may relate to longer-term variability in aboveground inputs that result from a heterogeneous and evolving forest stand.
Resource Type
Date Available
Date Issued
  • Peterson, F. S., & Lajtha, K. J. (2013). Linking aboveground net primary productivity to soil carbon and dissolved organic carbon in complex terrain. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 118(3), 1225-1236. doi:10.1002/jgrg.20097
Journal Title
Journal Volume
  • 118
Journal Issue/Number
  • 3
Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • This research was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research program (NSF-LTER) through the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.
Peer Reviewed



This work has no parents.