ASSESSING MANAGEMENT EFFECTS ON CROPS AND SOILS
Location: Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory
Title: Management effects on soil organic carbon in Texas soils
Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2008
Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Citation: Potter, K.N., Unger, P.W., Torbert III, H.A. 2009. Management effects on soil organic carbon in Texas soils. In: Lal, R., Follett, R.F., editors. Soil Carbon Sequestration and the Greenhouse Effect. 2nd edition. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication 57. p. 115-122.
Interpretive Summary: Soil carbon sequestration research has historically been conducted in the northern Corn Belt region of the country. Now, however, sufficient research has been conducted in other regions of the country to allow better estimates of carbon sequestration in warmer or dryer regions of the country. This report describes research conducted throughout Texas. Texas is a good case study because of the range of climate and soils found in the state. Carbon sequestration occurred with continuous cropping in areas traditionally cropped under fallow management: conversion to no-till management practices; and conversion from row cropping to grasslands. The rate of carbon sequestration tends to be lower than would occur in cooler regions of the country.
Soil carbon sequestration is difficult in Texas, in part, because of the high annual temperatures and low rainfall amounts in portions of the state. However, research has shown that carbon can be sequestered with a variety of management systems. These systems include: i. Continuous cropping in areas which have been historically fallowed for large periods of time; ii. Conversion to reduced or no-till management systems; and, iii. The establishment of long-term grasslands. The rate of carbon sequestration with the suggested management systems has been shown to vary with climatic conditions, primarily rainfall amount and annual temperature.