Submitted to: Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2002
Publication Date: 2/4/2002
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J., Stuedemann, J.A. 2002. Temporal and spatial responses in soil carbon pools under grass. Southern Association of Agricultural Scientists Proceedings.
Technical Abstract: Mild winter temperature in the southern USA compared with the summer-dominated northern pasture region allows for more year-long grazing potential. Tall fescue is a widely adapted cool-season grass that harbors a mutualistic fungal endophyte, known to suppress animal productivity in the summer, but also shown to exhibit positive ecological consequences, such as greater plant persistence and potential for storing more soil organic C. Nitrogen application is one of the key determinants of pasture productivity, although its effect on soil C storage may be minimal, especially considering the C cost of fertilization. Fertilization with animal manures is effective and may provide additional C storage potential. Return of dung to the soil surface with grazing has positive effects on soil surface properties, including soil microbial biomass and total organic C. Grazingland managed with a moderate grazing pressure can provide economic opportunities for landowners with low risk, improve degraded land by building soil fertility, improving water utilization and quality within the landscape, and help mitigate the greenhouse effect by storing more C in soil as organic matter.