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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » Research » Research Project #444569

Research Project: Evaluating Carbon Regulation of Grazing Lands Across the USA

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-21500-001-017-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2023
End Date: Dec 31, 2026

1. Assess the soil carbon sequestration potential and carbon stocks of grazing land ecosystems across climatic regions, soil, vegetation type, and management strategies in the U.S. 2. Calculate the net ecosystem C balance (NECB) at 7 LTAR grazingland sites for Business as Usual (BAU) management. 3. Calculate the Global Warming Potential (GWP) for BAU at 7 grazingland sites. GHG fluxes from each site will be expressed as CO2 equivalents and will include CO2, CH4, and N2O. Data will be from a combination of sources including eddy covariance, static chambers, and/or existing literature at each site. 4. Compare and contrast carbon regulation (eg. NECB, soil C sequestration, GWP) provided by grazing land sites across regions and climate zones.

This project is part of a larger effort in collaboration with the Climate Hubs to develop a cohort of post-docs to work on climate mitigation potential of Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry practices and help link LTAR science with Climate Hub outreach capabilities. Through an interdisciplinary teamwork approach, this project will synthesize and translate current scientific information and data to better understand and quantify the impacts of climate smart practices in grazing lands on soil carbon sequestration, GHG balance, and agricultural productivity. We will build on work recently published to compare regulating carbon services across LTAR grazing land sites and will coordinate with the following LTAR working groups: Climate Smart Ag, Eddy Covariance, Soil, Non-CO2 Gases, Sustainable Indicators, and Data Management. Specifically, this work will synthesize across the LTAR grazing lands to quantify significant sources and sinks of greenhouse gases (CO2, N2O, CH4) at a broad scale. Related to the four objectives, the approach will be to conduct literature reviews on carbon sequestration and carbon stocks, NECB, and GWP across grazing lands. The post-doc will meet with 7 grazing land sites to gather data on soil carbon, greenhouse gas flux, and management data. The post-doc will develop generic equations for NECB and GWP and then meet with each of the 7 sites to tailor the equation to the site and assess data availability.