Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

Comparison of bulk density methods in determining soil organic carbon storage under different land use types

Abrha Brhan Gebre
  • Abrha Brhan Gebre
  • Tigray Agricultural Research Institute, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 October 2017
  •  Accepted: 28 November 2017
  •  Published: 31 January 2018


The different methods used for determining soil bulk density make the result of soil organic carbon (SOC) estimation vary. The study was conducted on five land use types in Gergera watershed, Tigray, Ethiopia. This study investigates two methods (Core and Excavation methods) of soil bulk density and their relative consequence on SOC; it also evaluates which method is better for estimating SOC stock. Both methods were undertaken in top 0 to 30 cm soil depth. For comparison of bulk density methods, statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 23 was used. The result revealed that using core method, SOC was 59.30, 74.70, 64.18, 45.35 and 54.61 Mg/ha in pasture land, homestead agroforestry, crop land and woodlot respectively. Whereas, land use types were scored 56.40, 69.08, 62.20, 43.86 and 52.83 Mg/ha in exclosure, pasture land, homestead agroforestry, crop land and woodlot respectively using excavation method of bulk density determination. Although SOC stock exhibits statistically significant difference among land use types in the bulk density methods, the statistical effect was not because of bulk density methods but because of other variables in the land use types. SOC of bulk density results and mean SOC difference in each land use types were calculated using core and excavation methods. In conclusion, soil excavation method of bulk density determinations used for SOC estimation is the lower standard error. Furthermore, this work provides new insights into improving the bulk density methods and assists in the accurate estimation of soil carbon stock management.

Key words: Bulk density methods, land use types, soil organic carbon stock.