Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2012
Publication Date: 6/8/2012
Citation: Liebig, M.A., A.J. Franzluebbers, and R.F. Follett (Editors). 2012. Managing agricultural greenhouse gases: Coordinated agricultural research through GRACEnet to address our changing climate. San Diego, CA:Academic Press. 547 pp.
Interpretive Summary: In 2002 the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) developed a coordinated national research project called GRACEnet (Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network) to provide information on soil carbon (C) dynamics and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in agricultural systems in different agroecological regions throughout the US, and evaluate how conservation management practices in these regions could reduce net GHG emissions. ‘Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: Coordinated Agricultural Research through GRACEnet to Address our Changing Climate’ synthesizes recent research findings generated from more than 30 ARS locations participating in the GRACEnet project. The book, consisting of seven sections and 29 chapters, addresses major themes associated with current soil C sequestration and GHG mitigation research from across the US. Although GRACEnet is an ARS project, the reported findings have broad natural resource implications on a national level, as well as important international applications given the similarity of environmental conditions to other parts of the world.
Technical Abstract: Global climate change presents numerous challenges to agriculture. Concurrent efforts to mitigate agricultural contributions to climate change while adapting to its projected consequences will be essential to ensure long-term sustainability and food security. To facilitate successful responses to climate change, relevant and timely research will be critical to ensure appropriate application of novel management practices and technologies on agricultural lands throughout the U.S. Such research should provide a mechanistic understanding of underlying processes affecting natural resources, be scalable to provide useful predictions for select management scenarios, and be translated in such a way that it effectively supports informed decision making. It is under this broad rubric of research goals that the USDA-ARS GRACEnet (Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement Network) project is based. Since 2002, 70 ARS scientists involved in GRACEnet have published over 250 research articles, and in doing so, have significantly expanded greenhouse gas mitigation science. Incumbent to disseminating GRACEnet information is the need to provide integrative syntheses to foster the communication of research accomplishments in a broad context. ‘Managing Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: Coordinated Agricultural Research through GRACEnet to Address our Changing Climate’ addresses this need. The book consists of 29 chapters that provide regional syntheses of soil organic carbon and greenhouse gas dynamics across a broad portfolio of agricultural land uses, as well as summaries addressing key activities central to GRACEnet (e.g., modeling, method development, economic outcomes, adaptation research, and international collaboration). The book is envisioned to support ARS’s goal of providing knowledge and information to better implement scientifically-based agricultural management practices from field to national policy scales.