Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science

First Advisor

Doug D. Malo


Soil organic matter (SOM) is composed of living biomass, dead plant and animal residues, and humus. Humus is a class of complex, organic molecules that are largely responsible for improving soil water holding capacity, nutrient mineralization, nutrient storage, and other critical soil functions. Soil organic carbon (SOC) accounts for approximately 60 percent of SOM and thus SOC is recognized as a strong indicator of soil health. Land use changes and intense cultivation of arable soils in the United States over the past century have led to large decreases in SOM. The objective of this research was to develop a multiple linear regression model to predict SOC levels in select southeastern South Dakota soils and the region. Conventional Till (CT), No-Till (NT), and Native Grass (NTVG) management systems were studied within South Dakota Major Land Resource Area 102B, 102C, and McCook County, South Dakota. It was hypothesized that NTVG treatments would have the highest SOC levels, followed by NT treatments, and CT treatments would have the least. Samples were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity (EC), total nitrogen (TN), total carbon (TC), SOM, soil inorganic carbon (SIC), particle size, color, and water stable aggregates. Management was found to have a significant effect on soil pH, EC, TN, TC, and SOC compared to native conditions (p

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soils -- Carbon content -- South Dakota.
Soils -- Carbon content -- Mathematical models.
Soil management.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright