Analysis of vegetation productivity across the Great Plains using remotely sensed imagery and data from several flux tower instruments.
Biofuels represent an opportunity to reduce dependence on foreign oil, improve domestic viability, and improve air quality (used as an oxidizer in gasoline blends). We will focus on assessing carbon flux impacts of biofuel crops or switchgrass relative to native grasslands to help guide an optimization of land uses in productive grasslands and marginal croplands in the Great Plains. We will assess the sustainability of biofuels development through future projections, carbon sink/source information, and productivity mapping.
We are also working to understanding and optimize the influence that environmental characteristics and land use have on carbon fluxes in the Great Plains can facilitate the conservation of current carbon (C) stocks sequestered in soil. These C stocks are vulnerable to emission with droughts and various intensive land management practices. The emissions further add to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, depleting soil fertility and moisture storage (reduced soil porosity), and reducing sustainability. We seek to quantify past, current, and expected future carbon flux differences between grasslands and croplands for the Great Plains as a means to inform land use and management makers. We will develop multivariate data driven C flux models for diagnostic and prognostic mapping of grassland and cropland fluxes across the Great Plains with remotely sensed data (restricted to current or historical conditions). These models will be used to produce maps of carbon fluxes assuming the entire area was planted in corn and then, in grass.
Principal Investigator: Bruce Wylie, email@example.com, EROS Center, Sioux Falls, SD