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Title: Soil organic carbon sequestration with conservation agricultural systems in the Southeastern USA

item Franzluebbers, Alan

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Citation: Franzluebbers, A.J. 2009. Soil organic carbon sequestration with conservation agricultural systems in the Southeastern USA [abstract]. Annual Meeting of the Soil Science Society of America.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Conservation management of degraded land has the potential to build soil fertility, restore soil functions, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as a result of surface soil organic matter accumulation. Literature from the southeastern USA was synthesized to (1) quantitatively evaluate soil organic C (SOC) sequestration with conservation agricultural management, (2) evaluate the impact of surface-SOC accumulation on soil functional restoration, and (3) recommend practical soil sampling strategies based on spatial and temporal issues to improve the detection of statistically significant SOC sequestration. Soil organic C sequestration was 0.45 plus or minus 0.52 Mg C/ha/yr (n = 147) with conservation-tillage compared with conventional-tillage cropland. Establishment of perennial pastures sequestered 0.86 plus or minus 0.64 Mg C/ha/yr (n = 34). Stratification of SOC with depth was common under conservation agricultural management and appears to be integrally linked to SOC sequestration, abatement of soil erosion, and improvement in water quality. Sampling of conservation management systems should ideally occur repeatedly with time in controlled and replicated experiments, but there is also an urgent need for chronosequence and paired-field surveys of SOC from working farms in the region to validate and expand the scope of inference of experimental results. Landowners in the southeastern USA have great potential to restore soil fertility and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions with adoption of and improvement in conservation agricultural systems.