Tropical Ecology and Conservation [Monteverde Institute]

Alternative Title

Materia Orgánica del Suelo (SOM) en el agro ecosistema y el bosque nuboso intacto en el área de Monteverde, Costa Rica


J. T. Metten



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Publication Date

December 2006


Properly managed agroecosystems have great potential for sequestering carbon as Soil Organic Matter (SOM) (Brown et al. 2002; Lal 2005). I measured % SOM, Bulk Density, Total SOM, and Root Biomass in two agroecosystems, forest fragment, and intact cloud forest in Cañitas and Monteverde, Costa Rica. These data were analyzed to see if agroecosystems and forests differ in carbon sequestering ability. I found significant differences in % SOM and Bulk Densities between agroecosystems but when Total SOM was calculated, results were not significant. Analysis on Total SOM alone suggests that agroecosystems and forest in Monteverde have an equal ability to sequester SOM. However, root biomass may have an important role. When significant data from Average Root Biomass was added to Total SOM to calculate an estimate of belowground carbon data became significant. Intact forest was significantly higher in combined Root Biomass and Total SOM than the agroecosystems and forest fragment. Though the data suggests that agroecosystems in Monteverde are capable of sequestering considerable amounts of Total SOM, including Root Biomass illustrates the importance of conserving intact forest to maximize carbon sequestration.


Los agro ecosistemas apropiadamente manejados tienen un gran potencial para retener el carbono en materia orgánica del suelo (SOM) (Brown et al. 2002; Lal 2005). Medí el % MOT, la densidad del bulto, el total SOM, y la biomasa de las raíces en dos agro ecosistemas: el fragmento del bosque, y el bosque nuboso intacto en Cañitas y Monteverde, Costa Rica. Estos datos fueron analizados para averiguar si los agro ecosistemas y los bosques difieren en la habilidad para retener el carbón.


Humus, Soils composition, Soils--Carbon Content--Latin America, CIEE Fall 2006

Palabras claves

Composición del suelo, Suelos--Contenido de carbono--Latino América, CIEE Otoño 2006


7 pages

Geographic Location

Monteverde (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

Holding Location

Monteverde Institute


English; Spanish

Media Type



Digital Only





Soil Organic Matter (SOM) in agroecosystems and intact cloud forest in the Monteverde area, Costa Rica, December 2006



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