Spectral estimation of soil properties in Siberian tundra soils and relations with plant species composition

H. Bartholomeus, G. Schaepman-Strub, D. Blok, R. Sofronov, S. Udaltsov

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Predicted global warming will be most pronounced in the Arctic and will severely affect permafrost environments. Due to its large spatial extent and large stocks of soil organic carbon, changes to organic matter decomposition rates and associated carbon fluxes in Arctic permafrost soils will significantly impact the global carbon cycle. We explore the potential of soil spectroscopy to estimate soil carbon properties and investigate the relation between soil properties and vegetation composition. Soil samples are collected in Siberia, and vegetation descriptions are made at each sample point. First, laboratory-determined soil properties are related to the spectral reflectance of wet and dried samples using partial least squares regression (PLSR) and stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR). SMLR, using selected wavelengths related with C and N, yields high calibration accuracies for C and N. PLSR yields a good prediction model for K and a moderate model for pH. Using these models, soil properties are determined for a larger number of samples, and soil properties are related to plant species composition. This analysis shows that variation of soil properties is large within vegetation classes, but vegetation composition can be used for qualitative estimation of soil properties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number241535
Number of pages13
JournalApplied and Environmental Soil Science
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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