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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE SYSTEMS TO REDUCE ATMOSPHERIC EMISSIONS AND INCREASE RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE Title: Influence of shelterbelts on organic matter of chernozems in the light of global climate change

Authors
item Chendev, Yury -
item Petin, Alexandr -
item Novykh, Larisa -
item Zazdravnykh, Evgeny -
item Sauer, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2011
Publication Date: November 11, 2011
Citation: Chendev, Y.G., Petin, A.N., Novykh, L.L., Zazdravnykh, E.A., Sauer, T.J. 2011. Influence of shelterbelts on organic matter of chernozems in the light of global climate change. In: Proceedings of Pegion-2011: Strategy for Optimal Development of Materials of Science Applied Conference, November 10-11, 2011, Charkiv, Ukraine. p. 51-54.

Interpretive Summary: Meeting the biofuel production goals currently in place in the United States will require a dramatic increase in biomass supply. One strategy to meet this need is to use perennial plants on marginal agricultural lands. Field windbreaks or shelterbelts are single to multiple rows of trees and/or shrubs often planted dryland regions. The potential of shelterbelts to also store carbon (C) in soil and both above- and belowground biomass has been recognized. Field sites in the Central Russian Uplands were identified and soil samples collected to determine if the presence of the trees increased soil organic matter content. The results indicate that the soil beneath the trees had more oganic matter than in the adjacent fields and about the same amount as the native grasslands nearby. These results suggest that planting trees on these soils may have reduced soil degradation and/or may have also added organic matter to the soil from decomposing leaves and roots. This research is important for scientists and policymakers interested in the effects of potential bioenergy production practices on soil carbon storage and soil quality.

Technical Abstract: Achieving the ambitious cellulosic biofuel production goals currently in place in the United States will require a dramatic increase in cellulosic feedstock supply. One strategy to meet this need is to utilize perennial species including short-rotation woody species on marginal agricultural lands. Field windbreaks or shelterbelts are single to multiple rows of trees and/or shrubs often planted in sub-humid and semi-arid areas. The potential of shelterbelts to also sequester carbon (C) in soil and both above- and belowground biomass has been recognized. The objective of this study was to quantify the soil C sequestration potential of the aboveground woody biomass of plantings in the Central Russian Uplands that represent dominant tree species and soils across gradients of temperature and rainfall. Soil samples were collected in a grid to a depth of 30 cm and to 100 cm in two deep cores within the shelterbelt, adjacent cropped fields, and areas of native vegetation at Streletskay Steppe, Yamskaya Steppe, and Kamennaya Steppe. The samples were analyzed for percent soil organic matter content. For the 30 cm samples, the shelterbelt soils had intermediate amounts of organic matter at Streletskaya and Kamennaya below the native grassland but above the cropped fields. At Yamskaya Steppe, the shelterbelt soil had the highest percentage of organic matter (8.03%). For the 100 cm cores, the shelterbelt soils had the highest organic matter content at all locations. These results indicate that tree planting on former cultivated soils protected or restored the soil organic matter content to near pre-cultivation levels. Further analyses using stable carbon isotopes with be used to identify the source and turnover rate of the organic matter in the different land uses.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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