Utilization of forest slash to sequester carbon in loblolly pine plantations in the lower coastal plain
Soil-organic matter (SOM) is a complex array of components including soil fauna and flora at different stages of decomposition (Berg et al., 1982). Its concentration in soils can vary from 0.5% in mineral soils to almost 100% in peat soils (Brady, 1974). Organic matter (OM) in the surface mineral soil is considered a major determinant of forest ecosystem productivity because it affects water retention, soil structure, and nutrient cycling (Powers et al., 1990; Paul 199 1). Soil-organic matter is the major source of nitrogen available to plants and contains as much as 65% of the total soil phosphorus (Bauer and Black, 1994).