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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Research Project #439661

Research Project: The Biogeochemical Consequences of Updating an Aging Agricultural Infrastructure

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Project Number: 5030-12210-004-001-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2021
End Date: Apr 14, 2024

Determine the effects of soil drainage intensity on the amounts and types of carbon forms that either accumulate or are mineralized at depth in soil. Identify biochemical marker compounds to distinguish microbial from plant sources of carbon that accumulate or are mineralized at depth. Improve modeling capabilities of the involved soil and plant processes.

A field experiment will vary the intensity of soil drainage at each of multiple rates of nitrogen fertilizer application near Ames, IA. Soil organic matter will be fractionated to distinguish labile from recalcitrant materials at multiple soil depths. Organic matter fractions will be analyzed for marker compounds that identify the relative contributions of microbial biomass, plant root, or plant shoot as the source materials. Marker compounds will include phenols, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. This information will enable more process-level understanding of carbon accumulation or mineralization at each soil depth with varying drainage intensity. All results will support modeling efforts for depicting system effects of increased drainage intensity on soil carbon and nitrogen interactions.