Soil Organic Matter (SOM) fractions for 186 LUCAS 2009 soil samples (grassland, forest)

This dataset contains the original measured Soil Organic Matter (SOM) fractions of a subset of the LUCAS 2009 topsoil dataset, for grassland and forest (186 samples)
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This folder contains the original measured Soil Organic Matter (SOM) fractions of grassland and forest subsamples of the LUCAS survey (2009).

 The SOM was divided by size into:

  • Particulate organic matter (POM, >53 mm)
  • Mineral-associated organic matter (MAOM, <53 mm)

The corresponding fractions were also analyzed for the Nitrogen content.


Description: Land management for C sequestration is most often informed by bulk soil C inventories, without considering the form in which C is stored, its capacity, persistency and N demand. Recent frameworks suggest that soil C accrual, its persistence and response to N availability can be better described if SOM is broadly divided into a Particulate Organic Matter (POM) and a Mineral Associated Organic Matter (MAOM) pool. POM, being predominantly of plant origin, contains many structural C-compounds with low N content and persists in soil through inherent biochemical recalcitrance, physical protection in aggregates and/or microbial inhibition. MAOM is largely made of microbial products richer in N, and persists in soil because of chemical bonding to minerals and physical protection in small aggregates.

In this study, we used the Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS) database to determine topsoil C and N storage in European forests and grasslands on 9415 geo-referenced points and separate by size POM (2000-53 μm) and MAOM (<53 μm) in more than 180 subsamples.

File name: SOM_fraction.csv

Spatial coverage: 25 European Union Member States (excluded Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia)

Input data source: LUCAS point data


s_c_prc = % of silt+clay;

OC_pom_g_kg = organic carbon in POM (g/kg);

OC_sc_g_kg = organic carbon in MAOM (g/kg);

N_pom_g_kg = nitrogen in POM (g/kg);

N_sc_g_kg = nitrogen in MAOM

The database contains a field called ‘POINT_ID’, which can be used to join the data with the general LUCAS soil survey ( Nevertheless, geographical coordinates of LUCAS points (in WSG84) are provided.

R workspace and scripts

ll the .R files contain the basic data and elaborations reported in the paper: “Soil carbon storage informed by particulate and mineral-associated organic matter” in press in Nature Geoscience

Please, refers to the instruction contains in the ‘1_master_script.R’ to run the different scripts that reproduce the statistical procedure and results contained in the paper.


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