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Independent observation of the effects
of agricultural management practices on soil organic carbon (SOC) with soil moisture
content (SMC) is essential to quantify their potential relationships for
sustainable ecosystems. Soil water retention studies and soil carbon stocks
have been mapped in some areas worldwide. However, few studies have been conducted
in the southeastern US, particularly in Mississippi.
The objectives of this research study were to collect soil samples from fields
chosen to be representative of the watersheds they are contained within,
analyze the soil samples for carbon content and soil moisture content, and
evaluate the relationship between SOC and different parameters (land use,
vertical distribution, temporal distribution, and soil moisture content). Field
sites were chosen based on their compositional similarity shared with the
watershed as a whole in the Town Creek watershed (TCW) and Upper Pearl River
watershed (UPRW) in Mississippi.
Monthly soil samples from different depths (6 inch, 12 inch, and 24 inch) were
collected from crop, pasture, and forest field areas. Soil samples were
analyzed using bench analysis, elemental analysis, and statistical analysis.
This study was able to demonstrate the SOC distribution in the soil layers
across all three land uses studied. It was also shown that there does seem to
be an interactive effect of parameters such as land use type, vertical
distribution, and time on carbon accretion within the soil. Results of this
study also determined that the near surface (6-in) layer was found to contain
significantly more carbon than either the 12 inch or 24 inch layers (p < 0.01) across all field types. There
was found to be a high degree of variability within the soil moisture data and
correlation between SOC and SMC. It was found that carbon amount is not
influenced by SMC but SMC could be influenced by SOC.
Bioenergy crops are considered as a feedstock source,
which can be grown in marginal soils. However, these crops may have different
levels of crop yield potential and environmental benefits. The objectives of
this study were to model and compare the effects of four bioenergy crops (corn—Zea mays, soybean—Glycine max (L.) Merr.,
and switchgrass—Panicum virgatum) in
the Town Creek watershed (TCW) in northeast Mississippi using the Soil and
Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The calibrated SWAT model for TCW was used
to quantify impacts to streamflow, crop yield, and sediment yield. The SWAT
model reasonably (3·s-1) from the TCW when
compared with the USGS observed stream flow (29.34 m3·s-1.
In addition, model reasonably predicted (±6%) average annual corn yield (4.66