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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 #360619

Research Project: Managing Energy and Carbon Fluxes to Optimize Agroecosystem Productivity and Resilience

Location: Soil, Water & Air Resources Research

Title: Impact of windbreaks on annual crops – carbon uptake and water use

item DOLD, CHRISTIAN - Orise Fellow
item Prueger, John
item WEDIN, DAVE - University Of Nebraska
item Sauer, Thomas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2019
Publication Date: 6/27/2019
Citation: Dold, C., Prueger, J.H., Wedin, D., Sauer, T.J. 2019. Impact of windbreaks on annual crops – carbon uptake and water use. In: Proceedings of 16th AFTA Biennial Conference, June 24-27, 2019, Corvallis Oregon

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Tree windbreaks had been extensively planted in the Midwestern US during the Dust Bowl period in the 1930s to combat severe wind erosion. Many shelterbelts are still present, surrounding fields used for annual crop production, which may impact crop carbon and water cycling, and yield. The objective of this study was to quantify carbon and water cycling in field windbreaks and the associated effects on crop growth. We monitored net ecosystem production (NEP) and evapotranspiration (ET) in a soybean (Glycine max L. (Merr.))field sheltered by a red cedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) windbreak for the 2018 growing season in Mead, NE, with an eddy covariance (EC) station. In addition, plant growth parameters were measured along a distance transect from the windbreak. First results show that growing season NEP was 144 g C m-2 and ET was 529 mm, which is similar to conventional Midwestern soybean production without shelterbelts. There was no significant difference (p < 0.05) in soybean dry weight, specific leaf area, and pod dry weight with distance to the windbreak. Crop height was significantly (p < 0.05) different among locations which might be an effect of high rainfall early in the season. Yet, viable seed dry weight and number of seeds was lower nearer to the windbreak. Preliminary results suggest that the shelterbelt had little impact on carbon and water fluxes of the soybean crop but may have generated a negative edge effect on yield.