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Carbon sequestration potential estimates with changes in land use and tillage practice in Ohio, USA

January 1, 2005

Soil C sequestration through changes in land use and management is one of the important strategies to mitigate the global greenhouse effect. This study was conducted to estimate C sequestration potential of the top 20 cm depth of soil for two scenarios in Ohio, USA: (1) with reforestation of both current cropland and grassland where SOC pools are less than the baseline SOC pool under current forest; (2) with the adoption of NT on all current cropland. Based on Ohio Soil Survey Characterization Database and long-term experimental data of paired conservation tillage (CT) versus no-till (NT), we specified spatial variations of current SOC pools and C sequestration potentials associated with soil taxa within each major land resource area (MLRA). For scenario I, there would be 4.56 Mha of cropland having an average SOC sequestration capacity of 1.55 kg C m−2 and 0.80 Mha of grassland with that of 1.35 kg C m−2. Of all potential area, 73% are associated with Alfisols and 15% with Mollisols, but the achievable potential could vary significantly with individual MLRAs. Alternately, an average SOC sequestration rate of 62 g C m−2 year−1 was estimated with conversion from CT to NT for cultivated Alfisols, by which a cumulative increase of 71 Tg C resulted from reforestation of cropland could be realized in 25 years. Soils with lower antecedent C contents have higher C sequestration rates. In comparison with the results obtained at the state scale, the estimates of SOC sequestration potentials taxonomically associated with each specific MLRA may be more useful to the formulation of C credit trading programs.

Publication Year 2005
Title Carbon sequestration potential estimates with changes in land use and tillage practice in Ohio, USA
DOI 10.1016/j.agee.2005.05.012
Authors Z. Tan, R. Lal
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Index ID 70028020
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center