Species and Genotype Effects of Bioenergy Crops on Root Production, Carbon and Nitrogen in Temperate Agricultural Soil

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Gregory, A. S., Dungait, J. A. J., Shield, I. F., Macalpine, W. J., Cunniff, J., Durenkamp, M., White, R. P., Joynes, A. and Richter, G. M. 2018. Species and Genotype Effects of Bioenergy Crops on Root Production, Carbon and Nitrogen in Temperate Agricultural Soil. BioEnergy Research. 11, pp. 382-397.

AuthorsGregory, A. S., Dungait, J. A. J., Shield, I. F., Macalpine, W. J., Cunniff, J., Durenkamp, M., White, R. P., Joynes, A. and Richter, G. M.
Abstract

Bioenergy crops have a secondary benefit if they increase soil organic C (SOC) stocks through capture and allocation below-ground. The effects of four genotypes of short-rotation coppice willow (Salix spp., ‘Terra Nova’ and ‘Tora’) and Miscanthus (M. × giganteus (‘Giganteus’) and M. sinensis (‘Sinensis’)) on roots, SOC and total nitrogen (TN) were quantified to test whether below-ground biomass controls SOC and TN dynamics. Soil cores were collected under (‘plant’) and between plants (‘gap’) in a field experiment on a temperate agricultural silty clay loam after 4- and 6-years’ management. Root density was greater under Miscanthus for plant (up to 15.5 kg m–3) compared with gap (up to 2.7 kg m–3) whereas willow had lower densities (up to 3.7 kg m–3). Over two years, SOC increased below 0.2 m depth from 7.1 to 8.5 kg m–3 and was greatest under Sinensis at 0-0.1 m depth (24.8 kg m–3). Miscanthus-derived SOC, based on stable isotope analysis, was greater under plant (11.6 kg m–3) than gap (3.1 kg m–3) for Sinensis. Estimated SOC stock change rates over the two-year period to 1-m depth were 6.4 for Terra Nova, 7.4 for Tora, 3.1 for Giganteus and 8.8 Mg ha–1 year–1 for Sinensis. Rates of change of TN were much less. That SOC matched root mass down the profile, particularly under Miscanthus, indicated that perennial root systems are an important contributor. Willow and Miscanthus offer both biomass production and C sequestration when planted in arable soil.

KeywordsCarbon-13 isotope ; Carbon sequestration; Land use change; Miscanthus; Perennial bioenergy crop; Salix
Year of Publication2018
JournalBioEnergy Research
Journal citation11, pp. 382-397
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s12155-018-9903-6
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Funder project or codeMaximising carbon retention in soils
The BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC): Perennial Bioenergy Crops Programme
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Accepted author manuscript10.1007-s12155-018-9903-6.pdf
Other fileTable 1 REVISED.docx
Table 2 REVISED.docx
Table 3 REVISED.docx
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Electronic supplementary material (processed data).docx
Electronic supplementary material (raw data).xlsx
Manuscript REVISED 2.docx
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online20 Mar 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Mar 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1939-1234

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