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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Predicted Impact of Management Changes on Soil Carbon Storage for Each Cropland Region of the Conterminous United States

Authors
item Eve, M - CSU
item Sperow, M - CSU
item Howerton, K - CSU
item Paustian, K - CSU
item Follett, Ronald

Submitted to: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2002
Publication Date: March 19, 2002
Citation: EVE,M.D., SPEROW,M., HOWERTON,K., PAUSTIAN,K., FOLLETT,R.F., PREDICTED IMPACT OF MANAGEMENT CHANGES ON SOIL CARBON STORAGE FOR EACH CROPLAND REGION OF THE CONTERMINOUS UNITED STATES, JOURNAL OF SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION, 2002. pp. 196-204.

Interpretive Summary: It is important that land managers understand how management alternatives will impact soil carbon storage. We consider such changes in land management as crop rotations or tillage systems and apply the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) national carbon inventory approach and defaults. The IPCC approach estimates the impact of management options on cropland soil C stocks weighted by soil and climate. Our analysis shows the relative impact of these options by Farm Production Region. The analysis demonstrates relative regional differences. Our estimates reflect changes in soil organic C storage in the upper 30 cm. An environmentally sustainable farm management plan should consider all of the tradeoffs related to management decisions.

Technical Abstract: The exchange of carbon dioxide between the atmosphere, biosphere and pedosphere is an important consideration when assessing agricultural and environmental management or policy decisions and their relationship to climate change. Field experimentation is the best way to gather data, but experimental data are specific to the management, soils and climate that represent the research site. Inadequate field data exist to address all management options across all soil types and climates. We have used the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change inventory approach to estimate changes in soil carbon storage resulting from various land use and management options. We generate a regional assessment of the relative impact of implementing changes in agricultural management on soil carbon storage. For each agricultural region of the United States, we present an estimated annual change in soil carbon storage for each management option. Results should prove especially useful in evaluating management options and tradeoffs.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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