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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318886

Research Project: Multifunctional Farms and Landscapes to Enhance Ecosystem Services

Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Carbon sequestration potential of grazed pasture depends on prior management history

Author
item Skinner, Robert
item Dell, Curtis

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/9/2015
Publication Date: 7/29/2015
Citation: Skinner, R.H., Dell, C.J. 2015. Carbon sequestration potential of grazed pasture depends on prior management history[Abstract]. Proceedings Dairy Environmental Systems and Climate Adaptation Conference, Ithaca, NY. July 29-30, 2015. p. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Grazed pastures are often assumed to be net sinks for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus, are promoted as a management practice that can help mitigate climate change. The ability to serve as a C sink is especially pronounced following a history of tillage and row crop production. Intensive management, i.e. high N inputs and frequent harvests have often been associated with net C sequestration whereas, extensive management, i.e. no fertilizer N and less frequent cuttings are associated with either no change or a non-significant loss of soil C. In general, management practices intended to increase forage production usually also increase soil C. However, the ability of soils to sequester C decreases over time as previously depleted stocks due to tillage are replenished and soils return to equilibrium conditions. In this presentation we report on biomass yield and soil C sequestration results from two long-term experiments where different management practices intended to increase pasture productivity were implemented.