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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Water Management and Systems Research » Research » Research Project #442708

Research Project: Natural Carbon Sinks in Grass and Cropland

Location: Water Management and Systems Research

Project Number: 3012-13660-010-006-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Jul 31, 2027

1. Improve our understanding of soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics across the soil profile of converted croplands into grassland in water-limited systems of the U.S. Great Plains Area. 2. Evaluate SOC turnover in different SOC pools in archive and new soil samples taken from grassland and cropland.

ARS has established several field and plot studies in Colorado that include investigation of the effects of annual crops and perennial grasses (individually, within rotations, and after conversion to grasses) on soil characteristics and crop/grass production. Cooperator is comparing the effects of long-term perennial grass treatments and annual cropping on soil characteristics and plant productivity. ARS and Cooperator scientists will collaborate to improve the understanding of soil and crop/grass response to vegetation management by using a set of consistent, advanced analytical methods to measure soil (SOC/N, radiocarbon, lipidomics, and chemical) and plant (biomass, productivity) properties from soil samples (either recent of archived) collected at several Colorado sites. ARS and the Collaborator plan to collect soil samples to 1-meter depth in selected fields and plots for analyses to include 14C (radiocarbon) to estimate C turnover rates in different SOC pools, broad spectrum lipid analysis (lipidomics), and high-resolution chemical analysis. When available and relevant, archived soil samples for selected fields and plots will be made available for analyses.