Carbon Stocks and Pools in Relation to the Texture of Kaolinitic Soils from the Brazilian East Coast
Extremely kaolinitic soils of Tertiary age elevations on the Brazilian east coast present a wide range of texture, which is recognized as one of the main factors controlling the soil organic matter contents. This study aimed to investigate the organic C storage of different compartments of kaolinitic soils. The studied soils had a wide particle size gradient, were under native forest vegetation, and located on Brazil’s eastern coast (Coruripe – CF, Umbaúba – UF, Nova Viçosa – VF, Sooretama – SF, and Itaboraí – IF). The forest cover of all sites allows to record soil properties reference values for a land use condition closer to that of the original sites. We determined soil organic C (SOC) content and SOC stock up to a depth of 1 m, C of topsoil (0.00-0.08 m), aggregate size classes, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) of the soil surface horizon (A horizon). Soil C stocks at the 0.00-1.00 m depth ranged from 105 to 137 Mg ha−1 and were not regulated by soil texture. The SF soils stored more C up to a depth of 1 m, while lower mean C stocks were found for UF and CF soils. Soil texture was not a reliable index to predict the C contents of the aggregate size classes of the 0.00-0.08 m layer (within each class and in total, using equivalent soil mass of the classes). The most clayey soils had a high percentage of 2-4 mm aggregates and, as a consequence, high aggregate stability indices, which are positively correlated to silt plus clay contents of the soil surface horizon. The proportion of DOC in relation to the total organic C of the surface soil horizon was high for IF and UF areas, which are the less preserved forest fragments among all studied fragments.