Soil carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in permanent upslope pasture and downslope riparian buffers with varying vegetation

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Dlamini, J., Tesfamariam, E. H., Dunn, R., Hood, J., Hawkins, J. M. B., Blackwell, M. S. A., Collins, A. L. and Cardenas, L. M. 2023. Soil carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in permanent upslope pasture and downslope riparian buffers with varying vegetation. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 186 (4), pp. 406-416. https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.202100292

AuthorsDlamini, J., Tesfamariam, E. H., Dunn, R., Hood, J., Hawkins, J. M. B., Blackwell, M. S. A., Collins, A. L. and Cardenas, L. M.
Abstract

Background
Riparian buffers are primarily implemented for their water quality functions in agroecosystems. Their location in the agricultural landscape allows them to intercept and process pollutants from immediately adjacent agricultural land. Vegetated riparian buffers recycle soil organic matter, which elevates soil carbon (C), which upon processing, processes and releases carbon dioxide (CO2). The elevated soil C and seasonally anoxic environments associated with riparian buffers promote denitrification and fermentation, further increasing soil CO2 production.

Aim
Against this context, a replicated plot-scale experiment was established at North Wyke, UK, to measure the extent of soil CO2 emissions in permanent pasture served by grass, willow, and woodland riparian buffers, as well as a no-buffer control.

Methods
Soil CO2 was measured using the static chamber technique in conjunction with soil and environmental variables between June 2018 and February 2019.

Results
Cumulative soil CO2 fluxes were in the descending order: woodland riparian buffer; 11,927.8 ± 1987.9 kg CO2 ha–1 > no-buffer control; 11,101.3 ± 3700.4 kg CO2 ha–1 > grass riparian buffer; 10,826.4 ± 2551.8 kg CO2 ha–1 > upslope pasture; 10,554.6 ± 879.5 kg CO2 ha–1 > willow riparian buffer; 9294.9 ± 1549.2 5 kg CO2 ha–1. There was, however, no evidence of significant differences among all treatments of the current study.

Conclusions
Despite the lack of significant differences, the results from our short-term study show that the woodland riparian buffer had relatively larger soil CO2 emissions than the remainder of the other riparian buffers and the upslope pasture it serves. Our short-term findings may be useful in developing soil CO2 mitigation strategies through careful selection of riparian buffer vegetation and may be useful in calibrating mechanistic models for simulating such emissions from similar agro-systems.

KeywordsNovel grass ; Permanent pasture ; Riparian buffers ; Willow ; Woodland
Year of Publication2023
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Journal citation186 (4), pp. 406-416
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.202100292
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jpln.202100292
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
The British Council
Funder project or codeThe South African Department of Higher Education and Training (New Generation Gap of Academics Program)
National Research Foundation-Thuthuka. Grant Number: 117964
Impacts of different vegetation in riparian buffer strips on hydrology and water quality
Researcher Links Travel Grant
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
S2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online12 May 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Apr 2023
PublisherWiley
ISSN1436-8730

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