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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Soil, Water & Air Resources Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #307169

Research Project: MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE SYSTEMS TO REDUCE ATMOSPHERIC EMISSIONS AND INCREASE RESILIENCE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: Measuring carbon sequestration in real-time under African conditions

Author
item O'dell, Deb - University Of Tennessee
item Sauer, Thomas - Tom
item Eash, Neal - University Of Tennessee
item Lambert, Dayton - University Of Tennessee
item Thierfelder, Christian - International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
item Hicks, Bruce - Metcorps

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Two of the biggest problems facing humankind are feeding an exponentially growing human population and preventing the negative effects of climate change and the accumulation of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). The study presented here was conducted in Zimbabwe, with the intent to (a) demonstrate the utility of micrometeorological methods for measuring CO2 exchange rates between the surface and the atmosphere, and (b) to quantify differences in such exchange rates for a variety of agricultural surfaces. Four Bowen ratio energy balance systems (BREB) were established in June 2013 on 0.64 ha sites at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Harare, Zimbabwe. The four practices were: no-till followed by planting of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum), minimum till followed by planting of blue lupin (Lupinus angustifolios L.), residue left on the surface, and residue incorporated with tillage. Continuous micrometeorological and other environmental data were collected through October for the estimation of CO2 flux density of the contrasting tillage and cover crop practices. Calculations showed that the winter wheat cover crop produced a net sequestration of 953 g CO2-C m-2, while a bare-fallow till plot emitted 556 g CO2-C m-2 and a bare-fallow untilled plot emitted the most at 804 g CO2-C m-2. The blue lupin cover crop emitted less than both fallow plots at 288 g CO2-C m-2. Our micrometeorological methods reported here can discern differences in exchange rates between cover crop types and can even distinguish small differences between land that is tilled and that which is not.