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The objective of this work was to evaluate the distribution of fine roots and its influence on the soil organic carbon stock, at a depth of 20 cm, in a Grevillea robusta and Coffea arabica agroforestry system. The study was conducted in an agroforestry system established 15 years ago in a transition area of Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes in Brazil. G. robusta trees representing the most frequent diameter class were selected, and three distances of these trees (0, 0.75 and 1.50 m) and two soil collection depths (0–10 and 10–20 cm) were defined. The root samples were scanned and quantified using a software program. There was a general predominance of roots with a diameter of 0.6 mm at the shortest distance from the surface layer, while there was a predominance of roots with a diameter of 0.4 mm in the 10–20 cm layer. The root carbon stock at a distance of 0.75 m was higher at a depth of 0–10 cm (0.60 Mg ha-1). The soil organic carbon stock also showed higher results in the 0–10 cm layer compared to the 10–20 cm layer, although with significant variation only in the distance of 1.5 m. There was a higher concentration of fine roots in the topsoil, probably influenced by a greater availability of water and nutrients from plant residues. The soil carbon stock is not closely related to root density or root carbon stock. The data presented in this study do not provide a definitive conclusion.
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