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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #336276

Research Project: PRACTICES TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY AND CONSERVE SOIL AND WATER RESOURCES IN AGRONOMIC AND HORTICULTURAL SYSTEMS IN THE NORTH CENTRAL US

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Unintended consequences of carbon enhancement in agricultural soils: The N2O problem

Author
item Venterea, Rodney - Rod
item Breuillin-sessoms, Florence - University Of Minnesota
item Baker, John
item Griffis, Tim - University Of Minnesota
item Spokas, Kurt
item Turner, Peter - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2016
Publication Date: 12/12/2016
Citation: Venterea, R.T., Breuillin-Sessoms, F., Baker, J.M., Griffis, T., Spokas, K.A., Turner, P. 2016. Unintended consequences of carbon enhancement in agricultural soils: The N2O problem. American Geophysical Union. December 11-16, 2016. San Francisco, CA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The potential of agricultural soils to accumulate C as a means of removing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere is complicated by the inherent coupling of the C and N cycles in soil. Practices that increase soil C content can have the unintended consequence of stimulating N mineralization, nitrification and/or denitrification; which can in turn promote production of N2O as well as other forms of reactive N that can be later transformed to N2O. These effects, combined with the large global warming potential of N2O, may partially or completely offset any gains in soil C from a GHG accounting perspective. Thus, ideally, management of soil C and N must be considered together in attempts to reduce net GHG budgets. However, the knowledge base for defining practices that optimize management of soil C and N together is still quite limited. In this presentation, we will illustrate these challenges with results from several recent studies examining effects of tillage, cover crops, biochar and other practices which aim to enhance soil C. Interactions of these practices with N management, climate, and other factors and their effects on N2O will be discussed with implications for improved management and future research.