Dataset: Hoosfield soil organic carbon content

Citation:  Rothamsted Research (2012). Hoosfield soil organic carbon content Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research 10.23637/KeyRefOAHBsoc
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Hoosfield long-term changes in SOC

Hoosfield long-term changes in SOC


This dataset shows changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) content (tha-1) in the topsoil (0-23cm) of selected treatments of the Hoosfield experiment, where spring barley has been grown each year since 1852. SOC has remained almost constant in the unfertilized plot since the 1880s, at the equilibrium level for this farming system on this soil type. Annual applications of 35 t ha-1 FYM increased SOC rapidly at first, then more slowly. This treatment now contains around three times as much SOC as the unfertilized plot. The third treatment, given FYM for just 20 years between 1852 and 1871, still contains over 40% more SOC than the unfertilized plot.


Data has been calculated from measured % SOC (0-23 cm) and standard soil weights, adjusted for observed decreases in top soil bulk density of plots given FYM, by including the appropriate amount of subsoil to ensure soil weights were comparable over time. The initial starting SOC in 1852 has been estimated. Spring barley has been grown every year, except 1912, 1933, 1943 and 1967 when the whole experiment was fallowed to control weeds.

Technical Information

%SOC expressed as oven-dried soil (100% dry matter), converted from air-dried to oven-dried by multipying by 1.02. All data before 1975 were from stored soil samples re-analysed in 1975. %SOC from 1882-1975 was measured as total C (determined by dry combustion) minus CaCO3-C. Data for 1982 are % organic C measured by the method of Tinsley. Data for 1998 are are total C by combustion (LECO) minus CaCO3-C by manometry.

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  • Sarah Perryman: Data curator
  • Margaret Glendining: Data curator
  • Andrew Macdonald: Project leader
  • Paul Poulton: Researcher
  • Ruth Skilton: Data collector
  • Nathalie Castells: Data manager
  • Daniel Hampshire: Data collector
  • Jeanne Day: Data collector

Dataset Access and Conditions

Rights Holder

Rothamsted Research


Creative Commons License This dataset is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (4.0).

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YOU MUST CITE AS: Rothamsted Research (2012). Dataset: Hoosfield soil organic carbon content Electronic Rothamsted Archive, Rothamsted Research

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Table Of Contents

The dataset shows SOC (tha-1 0-23cm) between 1852 and 1998 from the following plots:

  • Unfertilized: No fertilizer or organic manure since 1852, plot 11
  • FYM: 35 t ha-1 FYM each year since 1852, plot 72.
  • FYM 1852-1871: 35 t ha-1 FYM each year 1852-1871 only, plot 71.

This dataset is derived from measurements made by the Analytical Chemistry Unit, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden. The data presented is mean data from selected plots only. The complete data set is available from the e-RA curators.

The Analytical Chemistry Unit follows the Joint Code of Practice (JCoPR) and participates in European Quality Assurance programmes. All performance is strictly monitored using certified external standards alongside in-house standard materials. Standards and check samples are monitored and recorded.

  • The dataset Hoosfield soil organic carbon content is a published dataset from the e-RA Database. e-RA is part of the Rothamsted Long-Term Experiments - National Bioscience Research Infrastructure (RLTE-NBRI), which also covers maintenance of the Long-Term Experiments, the Rothamsted Sample Archive and Rothamsted's environmental monitoring activities including the weather stations and its role in the UK Environmental Change Network
  • The RLTE-NBRI is funded by UK Research and Innovation - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UKRI-BBSRC) under award BBS/E/RH/23NB0007 (2023-2028). The RLTE-NBRI is also supported by the Lawes Agricultural Trust. e-RA has been part of a National Capability since 2012, previous awards from the BBSRC were Grants BBS/E/C/00005189 (2012-2017) and BBS/E/C/000J0300 (2017-2022)
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For further information and assistance, please contact the e-RA curators, Sarah Perryman and Margaret Glendining using the e-RA email address: