Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
Original research article
15 May 2020
Original research article |  | 15 May 2020

Variation of soil organic carbon, stable isotopes, and soil quality indicators across an erosion–deposition catena in a historical Spanish olive orchard

José A. Gómez, Gema Guzmán, Arsenio Toloza, Christian Resch, Roberto García-Ruíz, and Lionel Mabit

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Cited articles

Álvarez, S., Soriano, M. A., Landa, B. B., and Gómez, J. A.: Soil properties in organic olive groves compared with that in natural areas in a mountainous landscape in southern Spain, Soil Use Manage., 23, 404–416,, 2010. 
Anderson, J. M. and Ingram, J. S. I. (Eds.): Tropical soil biology and fertility: A handbook of methods, CAB International, Wallingford, UK, 1993. 
Andrews, S. S. and Carroll, C. R.: Designing a soil quality assessment tool for sustainable agroecosystem management, Ecol. Appl., 11, 1573–1585,[1573:DASQAT]2.0.CO;2, 2001. 
Bameri, A., Khormali, F., Amir, K., and Dehghani, A.: Spatial variability of soil organic carbon in different hillslope positions in Toshan area, Golestan Province, Iran: Geostatistical approaches, J. Mt. Sci., 12, 1422–1433,, 2015. 
Barthes, B. and Roose, E.: Aggregate stability as an indicator of soil susceptibility to runoff and erosion: validation at several levels, Catena, 47, 133–149,, 2002. 
Short summary
The long-term evolution of soil organic carbon in an olive orchard (planted in 1856) was evaluated and compared to an adjacent undisturbed natural area. Total soil organic carbon in the top 40 cm of the soil in the orchard was reduced to 25 % of that in the undisturbed area. The deposition downslope in the orchard of sediment coming from the eroded upslope area did not increase the accumulation of organic carbon in soil, but it quadrupled available phosphorus and improved overall soil quality.