A status report on the labile carbon to total organic carbon ratio of Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean soils

Christine Landry, researcher

Christine Landry

Researcher

418 643-2380
ext 640

Contact Christine Landry

Description

Labile (active) carbon derives primarily from recent organic matter inputs. It includes carbon from microbial biomass, particulate organic matter, and soil carbohydrates. It is highly sensitive to changes in crop management and is the major source of food (energy) for soil microorganisms. The labile carbon content of soil is considered an excellent indicator of its fertility. Organic soil amendments such as green manures, chicken manure pellets (Acti-Sol type), and slurries—with their lower biological stability index values—provide soils with higher amounts of labile carbon. In comparative trials performed earlier, striking results were obtained with green manures. Although the nutrient content of amendments are sometimes estimated to be on the low side, when actual intakes are measured they trend much higher than the initial estimates. This result could be explained by the significant labile carbon contribution to soil obtained with green manure, which, in turn, stimulates microbial life and, eventually, mineralization. Other studies also point to the role of labile carbon in making phosphorus available. Labile carbon appears to utilize the same binding sites in soil as phosphorus. A labile carbon input would displace some phosphorus into the soil solution, thus making it available again for assimilation into growing plants.

Objective(s)

  • Study the behaviour of the labile organic carbon fraction under the climatic conditions of Saguenay–Lac-St-Jean.
  • Develop a regional profile with the aim of extending this initiative to the whole of Québec.

From 2019 to 2020

Project duration

Market gardening, Fruit production, Field crops

Activity areas

Fertilizer management, Soil health

Services

The determination of a carbon status profile for Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean soils could be replicated across Québec.

Partner

Groupe multiconseil agricole Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean

This may interest you

Fingerweeder and pepper plants
2019-2020 • Market gardening

Developing a weed control knowledge transfer tool for organic market gardeners

This project seeks to develop a knowledge transfer tool to assist organic market gardeners with weed control.

Researcher: Maryse Leblanc

Read more about the project

Maryse Leblanc
Strawberry fields forever
2014-2017 • Market gardening

Identifying the causes of strawberry decline disease with a view to developing an integrated control strategy

This project involved an exhaustive survey of viruses, phytoplasma, fungi, and nematodes in nurseries and strawberry fields to determine the exact causes of strawberry decline disease in Québec. 

Researcher: Richard Hogue

Read more about the project

Richard Hogue
Bee
2017-2018 • Market gardening

Impact of composite hedges on natural enemies and pollinators in an organic polyculture system in Québec

This project will provide a better understanding of interactions between a vegetable polyculture system and hedges composed of shrubs and perennials in order to enhance the impact of beneficial insects on vegetable crops.

Read more about the project