Soil carbon sequestration the potential of abandoned agricultural land in eastern canada
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Soil carbon sequestration: The potential of abandoned agricultural land in Eastern Canada. Robyn Foote and Paul Grogan Greenhouse Gases Mitigation and Utilization , June 9th 2007. Agriculture. Forestry. Clearance & Agricultural Practices. Afforestation. Logging. Reforestation.

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Soil carbon sequestration the potential of abandoned agricultural land in eastern canada l.jpg

Soil carbon sequestration: The potential of abandoned agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Robyn Foote and Paul Grogan

Greenhouse Gases Mitigation and Utilization , June 9th 2007


Slide2 l.jpg

Agriculture agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Forestry

Clearance & Agricultural Practices

Afforestation

Logging

Reforestation

Natural Regeneration

Changing Management Practices

Changing Management Practices

Land-Use Change

Natural Regeneration


Carbon and land use change l.jpg
Carbon and land-use change agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Land area that was settled initially is now considered unsuitable

  • 35% of agricultural land has been abandoned since 1950 in E. Canada

Contributions since 1850


Potential for carbon sequestration l.jpg

Time agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Potential for carbon sequestration

Soil carbon change = Inputs - Outputs

Field

Forest

Soil C

Soil C

Soil C


Questions l.jpg

Soil C agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Soil C

Time

Questions!

  • What is the potential for carbon sequestration in shallow, marginal soils?

  • What is the potential for carbon sequestration in shallow, marginal soils?

  • What is the long-term pattern and how long does recovery take?

Field

Forest


Soil carbon over time l.jpg

Mature agricultural land in Eastern Canada

forest

Soil Carbon

Over 100

0

Time since abandonment (yrs)

Soil carbon over time

  • Rate of C accumulation slows over time

  • Initial soil C may influence rate of C accumulation

  • Few studies on temperate forest succession or at time scale of centuries


Questions7 l.jpg

Soil C agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Soil C

Time

Questions!

  • What is the potential for carbon sequestration in shallow, marginal soils?

  • What is the long-term pattern and how long does recovery take?

  • How does parent material the potential or rate of carbon sequestration?

Parent

Material

Field

Forest


Parent material l.jpg

Soil C agricultural land in Eastern Canada

% Clay

% Carbon loss

Clay

Sand

Parent material

  • Silt and clay particles:

    • Physically and chemically protect organic matter

    • Higher water holding capacity

How could soil texture influence carbon accumulation after

agricultural abandonment?

  • Clay soils accumulate C more slowly

  • Clay soils accumulate C more quickly


Questions9 l.jpg

Labile C agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Labile C

Labile C

Recalcitrant C

Forest

Field

Questions!

  • What is the potential for carbon sequestration in shallow, marginal soils?

  • How does parent material the potential or rate of carbon sequestration?

  • What is the long-term pattern and how long does recovery take?

  • Does carbon accumulate primarily in a labile or recalcitrant carbon pool?


Geology and soil types of se ontario l.jpg

agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Geology and soil types of SE Ontario

  • Canadian Shield

    • Monteagle series - sandy loam

  • Limestone Plains

    • Farmington series - loam

    • Lansdowne series - clay


Experimental design l.jpg
Experimental design agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • 5 fields adjacent to mature forests per soil type

  • Chronosequence - series of sites that differ in time since agricultural abandonment

  • 12 to 15 chronosequence sites per soil type


Experimental design12 l.jpg

     agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Experimental design

  • Each site is a composite of 5 cores

    • All soils analyzed for total C and N (Questions 1-3)

  • Loam sites also sampled using 5 separate cores

    • Labile C using density fractionation (Question 4)


Soil characteristics 0 to 5 cm l.jpg
Soil characteristics 0 to 5 cm agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Sandy-loam and loam have similar texture near the surface


Potential for carbon sequestration 0 to 10 cm l.jpg
Potential for carbon sequestration 0 to 10 cm agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Soil C significantly lower in fields than forests between 0 to 10 cm (partial hierarchal ANOVA, p<0.0001)

  • Soil C is 30% lower in fields compared to mature forests

Carbon content (kg/m2)


Carbon accumulation 0 to 5 cm l.jpg

Sandy-loam agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Loam

Clay

Carbon accumulation 0 to 5 cm

Carbon content (kg/m2)

Soil C accumulates at the same rate in all 3 soil types (ANCOVA, p>0.05)


Carbon accumulation l.jpg
Carbon accumulation agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Soil C tends to increase over time between 5 and 10 cm

  • No change in soil C over time between 10 and 20 cm

  • Average rate of 10 g C m-2 yr-1 to 10 cm in all soil types


Carbon pools loam soil 0 10 cm l.jpg

Mature Forest agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Carbon pools - Loam soil 0-10 cm

Labile Carbon (kg/m2)

  • Most C is accumulating in the more recalcitrant pool


Carbon sequestration l.jpg
Carbon sequestration agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Total C sequestration = rate * area

    • C accumulates at 10 g C m-2 yr-1

    • 3 million ha of farmland has been abandoned in ON since 1950

  • Total C sequestered between 2008-2012:

    • 1.50 * 1012 g C

      OR

    • 2.7% of Ontario’s GHG emissions


Conclusions l.jpg
Conclusions agricultural land in Eastern Canada

  • Significant potential for C sequestration in marginal soils

  • Total amount of C sequestered may be a small, but important contribution

  • Soil type did not influence the potential or rate of carbon sequestration

  • Recalcitrant pools account for majority of C sequestration


Acknowledgements l.jpg
Acknowledgements agricultural land in Eastern Canada

Paul Grogan and the Grogan lab Tim Phillpot

Kate Buckeridge Queen’s University Biological Station

Sonia Nobrega Landowners around Kingston

Carolyn Churchland

Erik Zufelt

Brendan Daly

Brian Reid

Alison Fidler

Linda Cameron

Dragana Rakic

Committee members

Neal Scott

Ed Gregorich


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