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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of Potential Soil Carbon Sequestration in Central Iowa

Authors
item Doraiswamy, Paul
item Hunt, Earle
item Daughtry, Craig
item McCarty, Gregory
item Izaurralde, C. - JGCRI

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 22, 2005
Publication Date: December 5, 2005
Citation: Doraiswamy, P., Hunt, E.R., Daughtry, C.S., McCarty, G., Izaurralde, C. 2005. Evaluation of potential soil carbon sequestration in central Iowa [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. 2005 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: The potential for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration through landuse and management of agricultural systems is of great interest worldwide. Agricultural soils can be a source of CO2 when not properly managed but can also be a sink for sequestering CO2 through proper soil and crop management. The EPIC-CENTURY biogeochemical model was used to simluate the baseline level of soil carbon from soil survey data and project changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) under different tillage and crop management practices for corn and soybean crops. The study was conducted in central Iowa (50 km x 100 km) to simulate changes in soil carbon over the next 50 years. The simulations were conducted in two phases; initially a 25-year period (1971-1995) was simulated using conventional tillage practices since there was a transition in new management after 1995. In the second 25-year period (1996-2020), four different modeling scenarios were applied namely; conventional tillage, mulch tillage, no-tillage and no-tillage with a rye cover crop over the winter. The model simulation results showed potential gains in soil carbon in the top layers of the soil for conservation tillage. The simulations were made at a spatial resolution of 1.6 km x 1.6 km and mapped for the study area. There was a mean reduction in soil organic carbon of 0.095 T/ha per year over the 25-year period starting with 1996 for the conventional tillage practice. However, for management practices of mulch tillage, no tillage and no tillage with cover crop there was an increase in soil organic carbon of 0.12, 0.202 and 0.263 T/ha respectively over the same 25-year period. These results are in general similar to studies conducted in this region.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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