Carbon sequestration in response to grassland–shrubland–turfgrass conversions and a test for carbonate biomineralization in desert soils, New Mexico, USA

TitleCarbon sequestration in response to grassland–shrubland–turfgrass conversions and a test for carbonate biomineralization in desert soils, New Mexico, USA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWang J, Monger C, Wang X, Serena M, Leinauer B
JournalSoil Science Society of America Journal
Volume80
Pagination1591-1603
Accession NumberJRN54667
ARIS Log Number340428
Keywordscarbon sequestration, carbonate biomineralization, desert soils, grassland, shrubland, SIC, SOC, soil incorganic carbon, soil organic carbon, turfgrass
Abstract

This study uses an experimental pedology approach to examine (i) how the conversion of native C4 grassland to C3 woody shrubs then to irrigated C4 turfgrass affects both soil organic C (SOC) and soil inorganic C (SIC) and (ii) whether SIC can be enhanced by microbial biomineralization. Three sites were studied in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. At each site, SOC, SIC, and their ð13C values were measured on control soil samples and compared to samples treated with liquid growth medium and Ca(OH)2 at 10 and 40 cm. The treated samples were left to react for 1 mo in February, May, and August of 2014. Using a space-for-time substitution, soil organic C decreased when native grasslands converted to desert shrubs, then sharply increased after desert shrubs were converted to irrigated turfgrass. Most surprising, however, was the increase of SIC in the turfgrass site, which doubled in 6 yr. The ð13C values of both SOC and SIC reflected the change from C4 to C3 then back to C4 vegetation and showed how rapidly SOC and SIC can change their isotopic signatures. Soil inorganic C formation was slightly higher for the liquid growth medium, but no statistically significant differences were observed between the treatments and control samples. In addition, no biomineralization was observed with microscopy, perhaps because the 1-mo reaction time was too short and the amount applied was too small. Although SIC is typically viewed as a soil mineral that requires centuries to accumulate, our study indicate that SIC can be generated in months to years if the soil environment is suitable.

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DOI10.2136/sssaj2016.03.0061