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Principal Component Analysis for the Quantification of Soil Horizon Carbon Stocks in Relation to Soil Bulk Density

Ahukaemere, C.M


Obasi, S.N


Egbuche, C.T


Aririguzu, B.N.

Ahukaemere, C.M 1 ,

Obasi, S.N 2
Egbuche, C.T 3
Aririguzu, B.N. 1 
  1. Department of Soil Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. 1

  2. Department of Crop and Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Kaduna Campus, Nigeria. 2

  3. Department of Forestry and Wildlife Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria. 3

Pages: 84-92

DOI: 10.18488/journal.70.2020.72.84.92

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Article History:

Received: 06 December, 2019
Revised: 09 January, 2020
Accepted: 14 February, 2020
Published: 12 March, 2020


Accurate quantification of the changes in carbon stocks of different horizons of the soil profile pit in relation to soil bulk density is a prerequisite to understand the role of soil in the global carbon cycling and climate change mitigation. This paper seeks to draw attention to the carbon storage capacity of the individual soil horizon with particular emphasis on soil bulk density. Three (3) profile pits were dug at equal distance of 100 meters. These profile pits were carefully sampled and analysed in the laboratory using standard methods. Soil data were subjected to principal component analysis (PCA), regression and coefficient of variation analyses using SPSS. Results showed that A, Ap, AB and Bt were the soil horizons identified in the three different soil profiles at the time of sampling. Bulk density values ranged from 1.43 – 1.66 g cm-3 (mean = 1.49 g cm-3) in profile pit 1, 1.43 – 1.62 g cm-3 (mean = 1.53 g cm-3) in profile pit 2 and 1.15 – 1.64 g cm-3 (mean = 1.40 g cm-3) in profile pit 3 respectively. In profile 1, 2 and 3, the average carbon stock ranged from 4500.6, 3791.67 and 3689.2 g C m-2 respectively. From the PCA results, four variables were observed, they include organic carbon, inorganic carbon, water stable aggregate and carbon stock. The first PC (PC1 = organic carbon) had a value of 0.968, PC2 (inorganic carbon) = 0.968, PC3 (water stable aggregate) = 0.874 and PC4 (carbon stock) = 0.844, indicating positive effects. From the PC plot, the eigenvalues are 3.57, 3.08, 1.78 and 1.10. However, the first PC explains 32.47 % of total variation whiles the second, third and fourth PCs explain 60.47, 76.67 and 86.72 % respectively.
Contribution/ Originality
This study contributed substantially to the effective understanding of carbon accumulation in soil in relation to soil compaction; hence, for the comprehension of the exact quantity of carbon accumulated in the soil, accurate measurement of the amount of carbon sequestered by individual natural horizon of the soil profile is imperative.


Carbon stock, Horizon, Bulk density, Organic carbon, Climate change.



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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


 All authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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