Soil carbon dynamics and potential carbon sequestration by rangelands

TitleSoil carbon dynamics and potential carbon sequestration by rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsSchuman G.E., Janzen H.H., Herrick JE
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Date PublishedMarch 1, 2002
Accession NumberJRN00367
ARIS Log Number120375
Keywordscarbon,soil, journal, journals, sequestration, carbon, soil

The U.S. has about 336 Mha of grazing lands of which rangelands account for 48%. Changes in rangeland soil C can occur in response to a wide range of management and environmental factors. Grazing, fire, and fertilization have shown to affect soil C storage in rangelands, as has converting marginal cropslands into grasslands. While losses due to soil erosion can influence soil C storage on rangelands, most important is the effect of erosion on soil C redistribution on the landscape through detachment and subsequent deposition. Proper grazing management has been estimated to increase soil C storage on rangelands from 0.1 to 0.3 Mg C ha- yr-1 and new grasslands have been shown to store as much as 0.6 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. Grazing lands are estimated to contain 10-30% of the world's soil organic carbon. Given the size of the C pool in grazing lands we need to better understand the current and potential effects of management on soil C storage.