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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Soil carbon stock and total nitrogen in Hawaiian sugarcane commercial plantations

Authors
item Tirado-Corbala, Rebecca
item Wang, Dong
item Ayars, James
item Gartung, Jimmie
item Anderson, Raymond
item Zhang, Huihui

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 2012
Publication Date: October 21, 2012
Citation: Tirado-Corbala, R., Wang, D., Ayars, J.E., Gartung, J.L., Anderson, R.G., Zhang, H. 2012. Soil carbon stock and total nitrogen in Hawaiian sugarcane commercial plantations. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Paper No. 142-16.

Technical Abstract: There has been a recent, renewed interest in Hawaiian sugarcane as a biofuel feedstock. However, there is little information on how much soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) is stored in Hawaiian sugarcane fields under normal, monoculture operations. Soil C and N data are needed to assess the life cycle impacts of this biofuel system. Because of lack of quantitative and qualitative information on soil C and N, we collected soil samples from fields with different texture [i.e. sandy clay loam (scl), clay (c), clay loam (cl)], management practices [i.e. burning before harvest (BH) vs. green harvest (GH)], sugarcane varieties (H65-7052, H78-3567, H86-3792, H87-4319) and sugarcane growing stages. Collected soil samples were dried, ground and analyzed for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total organic carbon (TOC), total carbon (TC) and total nitrogen (TN). Preliminary results showed that scl soils had higher TC compared to clay and cl soils under BH practices. GH practices, higher TC was found under clay soils than cl soils. In addition, there was no consistent response for TN and DOC. For the four sugarcane varieties, higher TC and TN and lower DOC were found on soils growing H65-7052 and H86-3792 compared with H78-3792 and H87-4319 varieties. Also, increases in TOC were found at 6 months after planting at deeper depths due to root presence. The research is ongoing and additional results will help further elucidate the soil C and N status for this growth environment.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014