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Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Managed Ecosystems: A Primer

Soil Organic Carbon in Temperate Managed Ecosystems: A Primer

Authors: Keller, A.B.; Handler, S.

Year: 2024

Type: Technology Transfer

Climate Hub region: Northern Forests Climate Hub

Download the primer


Soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and vegetation combined, an impressive fact that underscores the importance of considering soils when managing for ecosystem carbon. Not only do soils store vast amounts of carbon, but soil carbon also persists in the ecosystem for much longer than other pools of carbon. This primer is an introduction to soil organic carbon storage, sequestration, and cycling in terrestrial managed ecosystems. The effects of site factors, climate change, and management on soil carbon are discussed.


Keller, A.B. and Handler, S. 2024. Soil organic carbon in temperate managed ecosystems: a primer. Technology Transfer. Houghton, MI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Northern Forests Climate Hub. 8 p.


This handout is a product of the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, a collaborative, multi-institutional partnership led by the USDA Forest Service. Funding was provided by the USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy.