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Carbon and nitrogen analysis of soil fractions using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy

, : Carbon and nitrogen analysis of soil fractions using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Soil Science Society of America journal 55(1): 288-291

A nondestructive method to determine total C and N concentrations in soil size fractions is desirable when a limited sample is available. Near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to determine the total C and N concentrations in silt (50.0-2.0 micrometer) and coarse clay (2.0-0.2 micrometer), separated from 12 surface soils, by regressing the diffuse reflectance of near-infrared radiation with constituent concentrations determined using combustion techniques. The correlation coefficients (R2) of the calibration equations were 0.93 for C and 0.89 for N, and the standard errors associated with NIRS predictions were 6.2 g kg-1 soil for total C and 0.6 g kg-1 for total N. Equation development with only silt samples improved the accuracy of NIRS calibration equations. Coefficients of variation [CV = (standard error of performance divided by mean of the combustion procedure) X 100] for validation sample sets ranged from 14 to 19%, which is within the acceptable range for determining inorganic elements in plant tissues. We conclude that NIRS can be used to predict C and N concentrations in soil size fractions.

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