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Title Monitoring soil carbon will prepare growers for a carbon trading system
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Abstract California growers could reap financial benefits from the low-carbon economy and cap-and-trade system envisioned by the state's AB 32 law, which seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions statewide. Growers could gain carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon through reduced tillage and increased biomass residue incorporation. First, however, baseline stocks of soil carbon need to be assessed for various cropping systems and management practices. We designed and set up a pilot soil carbon and land-use monitoring network at several perennial cropping systems in Northern California. We compared soil carbon content in two vineyards and two orchards (walnut and almond), looking at conventional and conservation management practices, as well as in native grassland and oak woodland. We then calculated baseline estimates of the total carbon in almond, wine grape and walnut acreages statewide. The organic walnut orchard had the highest total soil carbon, and no-till vineyards had 27% more carbon in the surface soil than tilled vineyards. We estimated wine grape vineyards are storing significantly more soil carbon per acre than almond and walnut orchards. The data can be used to provide accurate information about soil carbon stocks in perennial cropping systems for a future carbon trading system.

Suddick, Emma C. : E.C. Suddick was Postdoctoral Researcher, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis, and is now Research Associate, Woods Hole Research Center
Ngugi, Moffatt K. : M.K. Ngugi was Postdoctoral Researcher, Plant Sciences Department, UC Davis, and is now Program Analyst (Climate Change & Environment in Agriculture), USAID USDA-FAS
Paustian, Keith : K. Paustian is Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Colorado State University
Six, Johan
Assistant Professor
Publication Date Jul 1, 2013
Date Added Aug 28, 2013
Copyright © The Regents of the University of California
Copyright Year 2013

Baseline estimates are the first step in establishing a long-term soil carbon monitoring network for Northern California perennial croplands.

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