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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340428

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR CONSERVATION OF WESTERN RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Carbon sequestration in response to grassland–shrubland–turfgrass conversions and a test for carbonate biomineralization in desert soils, New Mexico, USA

Author
item WANG, JIAPING - Shihezi University
item MONGER, CURTIS - New Mexico State University
item WANG, XIUJUN - Chinese Academy Of Sciences
item SERENA, MATTEO - New Mexico State University
item LEINAUER, BERNHARD - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2016
Publication Date: 12/22/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5695461
Citation: Wang, J., Monger, C., Wang, X., Serena, M., Leinauer, B. 2016. Carbon sequestration in response to grassland–shrubland–turfgrass conversions and a test for carbonate biomineralization in desert soils, New Mexico, USA. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 80:1591-1603.

Interpretive Summary: This study uses an experimental pedology approach to examine (i) how the conversion of native C4 grassland to C3 woody shrubs then to irrigated C4 turfgrass affects both soil organic carbon and soil inorganic carbon and (ii) whether soil inorganic carbon can be enhanced by microbial biomineralization. Although SIC is typically viewed as a soil mineral that requires centuries to accumulate, our study indicate that soil inorganic carbon can be generated in months to years if the soil environment is suitable.

Technical Abstract: This study uses an experimental pedology approach to examine (i) how the conversion of native C4 grassland to C3 woody shrubs then to irrigated C4 turfgrass affects both soil organic C (SOC) and soil inorganic C (SIC) and (ii) whether SIC can be enhanced by microbial biomineralization. Three sites were studied in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. At each site, SOC, SIC, and their dd 13C values were measured on control soil samples and compared to samples treated with liquid growth medium and Ca(OH)2 at 10 and 40 cm. The treated samples were left to react for 1 mo in February, May, and August of 2014. using a space-for-time substitution, soil organic C decreased when native grasslands converted to desert shrubs, then sharply increased after desert shrubs were converted to irrigated turfgrass. Most surprising, however, was the increase of SIC in the turfgrass site, which doubled in 6 yr. The dd13 C values of both SOC and SIC reflected the change from C4 to C3 then back to C4 vegetation and showed how rapidly SOC and SIC can change their isotopic signatures. Soil inorganic C formation was slightly higher for the liquid growth medium, but no statistically significant differences were observed between the treatments and control samples. In addition, no biomineralization was observed with microscopy, perhaps because the 1-mo reaction time was too short and the amount applied was too small. Although SIC is typically viewed as a soil mineral that requires centuries to accumulate, our study indicate that SIC can be generated in months to years if the soil environment is suitable.