Nitrogen pools and fluxes in grassland soils sequestering carbon

Conant, Richard T., Paustian, Keith, Del Grosso, Stephen J., & Parton, William J. (2005) Nitrogen pools and fluxes in grassland soils sequestering carbon. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 71(3), pp. 239-248.

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Carbon sequestration in agricultural, forest, and grassland soils has been promoted as a means by which substantial amounts of CO2 may be removed from the atmosphere, but few studies have evaluated the associated impacts on changes in soil N or net global warming potential (GWP). The purpose of this research was to ( 1) review the literature to examine how changes in grassland management that affect soil C also impact soil N, ( 2) assess the impact of different types of grassland management on changes in soil N and rates of change, and (3) evaluate changes in N2O fluxes from differently managed grassland ecosystems to assess net impacts on GWP. Soil C and N stocks either both increased or both decreased for most studies. Soil C and N sequestration were tightly linked, resulting in little change in C: N ratios with changes in management. Within grazing treatments N2O made a minor contribution to GWP (0.1-4%), but increases in N2O fluxes offset significant portions of C sequestration gains due to fertilization (10-125%) and conversion (average = 27%). Results from this work demonstrate that even when improved management practices result in considerable rates of C and N sequestration, changes in N2O fluxes can offset a substantial portion of gains by C sequestration. Even for cases in which C sequestration rates are not entirely offset by increases in N2O fluxes, small increases in N2O fluxes can substantially reduce C sequestration benefits. Conversely, reduction of N2O fluxes in grassland soils brought about by changes in management represents an opportunity to reduce the contribution of grasslands to net greenhouse gas forcing.

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ID Code: 37775
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Grassland - Grassland management - Greenhouse gases - Nitrous oxide - Soil carbon
DOI: 10.1007/s10705-004-5085-z
ISSN: 1385-1314
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS (050100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > SOIL SCIENCES (050300)
Divisions: Past > Institutes > Institute for Sustainable Resources
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2010 01:26
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:19

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