MSc(Res) thesis: Soil carbon and nitrogen stocks in Allophanic Soils under maize and pastoral agrosystems in Waikato, New Zealand.
Supervisors: Dr. Tanya O’Neill, Prof. Louis Schipper
As a key component of soil, organic matter plays a significant role in almost every component of soil health and productivity - inherent in determining the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. Environmentally sensitive soil constituents, soil organic matter stocks may be altered through a range of factors; having the potential to be significantly altered by land use practices.
With this in mind, Matt’s research aims to quantify trends and changes in soil organic matter content and associated stores of carbon and nitrogen under long-term cropping sites in the Waikato. Soil organic matter will be determined to a depth of 60 cm in Allophanic Soils, with concurrent sampling of adjacent long-term cropping and pastoral agrosystems allowing for direct comparison of soil organic matter reserves at approximately 20 sites throughout the region.
Data collected in this investigation will be used to determine the net impact of maize cropping on soil organic matter reserves; informing farmers of the impact of maize cropping and providing practical knowledge to help farmers make more informed land management decisions which promote sustainable production, soil quality and environmental health.