Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2004
Publication Date: 2/5/2005
Citation: Schuman, G.E., Derner, J.D. 2005. Management effects and potential for rangeland carbon sequestration. In: Proceedings Annual Society for Range Management meeting. CD Abstract #307. Fort Worth, TX, Feb. 2005. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Lands grazed by wild and domesticated animals comprise 336 million hectares in the United States. Rangelands account for about 48% of that land area and more than one-third of the world's terrestrial carbon reserves. Because of this large land area, rangelands have the potential to sequester a significant amount of additional carbon from the atmosphere. Grazing lands are estimated to contain 10-30% of the world's soil organic carbon. Management practices, such as grazing, nitrogen inputs (fertilizer or legume introduction), revegetation of degraded lands, and improved plant species have been shown to increase soil organic carbon storage in rangelands. These rangeland management practices have been reported to store between 0.07 to 1.94 metric tonnes of C per hectare per year. Properly managed rangelands of the United States are estimated to have the capacity to store 19 million metric tonnes of C per year. Therefore, rangelands can have a major impact in mitigating the effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on global climate change.