Main Article Content
Forest ecosystems contribute significantly to store greenhouse gases. This paper aimed to investigate the spatial and vertical distribution of litter, roots, and soil carbon. We obtained biomass and carbon of compartments (litter, roots, and soil) in a vegetation from Cerrado biome, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The materials were collected in 7 0.5 m² sub-plots randomly allocated in the vegetation. Root and soil samples were taken from five soil layers across the 0-100 cm depth. Roots were classified into three diameter classes: fine (<5 mm), medium (5-10 mm), and coarse (>10 mm) roots. The carbon stock was mapped through geostatistical analysis. The results indicated averages of soil carbon stock of 208.5 Mg.ha-1 (94.6% of the total carbon), root carbon of 6.8 Mg.ha-1 (3.1%), and litter of 5 Mg.ha-1 (2.3%). The root carbon was majority stored in coarse roots (83%), followed by fine (10%), and medium roots (7%). The largest portion of fine roots concentrated in the 0-10 cm soil depth, whereas medium and coarse roots were majority in the 10-20 cm depth. The largest portion of soil (53%) and root (85%) carbon were stored in superficial soil layers (above 40 cm). As conclusion, the carbon spatial distribution follows a reasonable trend among the compartments. There is a vertical relation of which the deeper the soil layer, the lower the soil and root carbon stock. Excepting the shallowest layer, coarse roots held the largest portion of carbon across the evaluated soil layers.