Does sampler size affect southeastern Piedmont forest soil bulk density estimation?
Destructive core sampling is the most recognized technique for soil bulk density estimation to monitor soil compaction. This study was conducted to determine if soil bulk density sampler size would impact value estimates and silvicultural treatment distinctions in southeastern Piedmont forest soils of the Clemson Experimental Forest, Clemson, South Carolina, USA. In 2004, six hundred soils were sampled using both an Oakfield Soil Probe (diameter 2.5 cm) and an AMS, Inc. Slide Hammer (diameter 5.1 cm). The smaller, Oakfield Soil Probe values were greater than the larger, AMS Inc. Slide Hammer values (p < 0.0001) and values from both samplers were greater in the thin and burn treatments than the control treatments (p < 0.007). Strong correlation of the values between the samplers was also demonstrated (p < 00001; r2 = 0.62). These results highlight the utility of the smaller Oakfield Soil Probe when accessibility and intensity may impose sampling constraints. Abbreviations: AMS=AMS Inc. Slide Hammer; CEF=Clemson Experimental Forest; Db=soil bulk density; FFS=National Fire and Fire Surrogate Study; OSP=Oakfield Model H Soil Probe; SOC=soil organic carbon