|Abstract or Summary
- The amount and type of carbon (C) in a forest soil reflects the past balance between C accumulation and loss. In an old-growth forest soil, C is thought to be in dynamic equilibrium between accumulations and losses. Disturbance upsets this equilibrium by altering the microclimate, the amount and type of vegetation growing on a site, and properties that affect organic matter decomposition. We measured total C and forms of soil C in the L, F, and H layers and in the light fraction of soil organic matter in the 0- 10 cm of mineral soil in old-, second-, and young-growth Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) soils in the Oregon Coast Range. Total C in L, F, and H layers and in organic material in the top 10 cm of mineral soil in old-growth forests was higher than in young- or second-growth forests. Old-growth forests had a higher lignin concentration and lower concentrations of sugar, hemicellulose, and cellulose in the L, F, and H layers and in the light fraction of organic material than second- or young-growth forests. Old-growth forests had greater amounts of fats, waxes, and oils, sugar, cellulose, and lignin, in the L, F, and H layers per square hectare and greater amounts of hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin in the light fraction of organic matter in the 0-10 cm of mineral soil per square hectare than young- and second-growth forests. Concentrations of fats, waxes, and oils, sugar, and tannin in the light fraction of organic matter in the 0-10 cm of mineral soil did not differ with forest age.