Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Land-use conversion effects on CO2 emissions: from agricultural to hybrid poplar plantation

  • 213 Accesses

  • 14 Citations

Abstract

Land-use changes such as deforestation have been considered one of the main contributors to increased greenhouse gas emissions, while verifiable C sequestration through afforestation projects is eligible to receive C credits under the Kyoto Protocol. We studied the short-term effects on CO2 emissions of converting agricultural land-use (planted to barley) to a hybrid poplar (Populus deltoids × Populus × petrowskyana var. Walker) plantation in the Parkland region in northern Alberta, where large areas are being planted to hybrid poplars. CO2 emissions were measured using a static gas chamber method. No differences were found in soil temperature, volumetric moisture content, or soil respiration rates between the barley and Walker plots. The mean soil respiration rate in 2005 was 1.83 ± 0.19 (mean ± 1 SE) and 1.89 ± 0.13 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 in the barley and Walker plots, respectively. However, biomass production was higher in the barley plots, indicating that the agricultural land-use system had a greater ability to fix atmospheric CO2. The C balance in the land-use systems were estimated to be a small net gain (before considering straw and grain removal through harvesting) of 0.03 ± 0.187 Mg C ha−1 year−1 in the barley plots and a net loss of 3.35 ± 0.080 Mg C ha−1 year−1 from the Walker poplar plots. Over the long-term, we expect the hybrid poplar plantation to become a net C sink as the trees grow bigger and net primary productivity increases.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Albrecht A, Kandji ST (2003) Carbon sequestration in tropical agroforestry systems. Agric Ecosyst Environ 99:12–27

  2. Avery TE, Burkhart HE (1994) Forest measurements, 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York

  3. Bashkin MA, Binkley D (1998) Changes in soil carbon following afforestation in Hawaii. Ecology 79:828–833

  4. Bekku Y, Koizumi H, Oikawa T, Iwaki H (1997) Examining four methods for measuring soil respiration. Appl Soil Ecol 5:247–254

  5. Biscoe PV, Scott RK, Monteith JL (1975) Barley and its environment. III. Carbon budget of the stand. J Appl Ecol 12:269–293

  6. Bouwman AF, Leemans R (1995) The role of forest soils in the global carbon cycle. In: McFee WF, Kelly FM (eds) Carbon forms and functions in forest soils. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 503–525

  7. Campbell Scientific (2002) CS616 water content reflectometer instruction manual. Revision 01/04/03. Campbell Scientific Canada, Edmonton

  8. Cao K-F, Ohkubo T (1998) Allometry, root/shoot ratio and root architecture in understory saplings of deciduous dicotyledonous trees in central Japan. Ecol Res 13:217–227

  9. Davidson EA, Belk E, Boone RD (1998) Soil water content and temperature as independent or confounded factors controlling soil respiration in a temperate mixed hardwood forest. Glob Change Biol 4:217–227

  10. Day PR (1965) Particle fractionation and particle-size analysis. In: Black CA (ed) Methods of soil analysis. Agronomy No. 9, Part 1. American Society of Agronomy, Madison, pp 545–567

  11. Environment Canada (2004) Canadian climate normals or averages 1971–2000 [online]. Available: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climate_normals/index_e.html [accessed June 19 2005]

  12. Grigal DF, Berguson WE (1998) Soil carbon changes associated with short-rotation systems. Biomass Bioenerg 14:371–377

  13. Guo LB, Gifford RM (2002) Soil carbon stocks and land-use change: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 8:345–360

  14. Hansen EA (1993) Soil carbon sequestration beneath hybrid poplar plantations in the North Central United States. Biomass Bioenerg 5:431–436

  15. Hutchinson GL, Mosier AR (1981) Improved soil cover method for field measurement of nitrous oxide fluxes. Soil Sci Soc Am J 45:311–316

  16. Ingram JSI, Fernandes ECM (2001) Managing carbon sequestration in soils: concepts and terminology. Agric Ecosyst Environ 87:111–117

  17. Jenkinson DS, Powlson DS (1976) The effects of biocidal treatments on metabolism in soil. I. Fumigation with chloroform. Soil Biol Biochem 8:167–177

  18. Jenkinson DS, Powlson DS, Wedderburn RWM (1976) The effects of biocidal treatments on metabolism in soil. III. The relationship between soil biovolume, measured by optical microscopy, and the flush of decomposition caused by fumigation. Soil Biol Biochem 8:189–202

  19. Lal R (2002) Soil carbon dynamics in cropland and rangeland. Environ Pollut 116:353–362

  20. Lal R, Griffin M, Apt J, Lave L, Morgan MG (2004) Managing soil carbon. Science 304:393

  21. Lee MS, Mo WH, Koizumi H (2006) Soil respiration of forest ecosystems in Japan and global implications. Ecol Res 21:828–839

  22. Morrison D, Potter S, Thomas B, Watson P (2000) Wood quality ranking of plantation trees. Technical Association for the Worldwide Pulp, Paper and Converting Industry (TAPPI) Journal 83:1–12

  23. Moyano FE, Kutsch WL, Schulze E-D (2007) Response of mycorrhizal, rhizosphere and soil basal respiration to temperature and photosynthesis in a barley field. Soil Biol Biochem 39:843–853

  24. Nakayama FS (1990) Soil respiration. Remote Sens Rev 5:311–321

  25. Parmelee RW, Beare MH, Blair JM (1989) Decomposition and nitrogen dynamics of surface weed residues in no-tillage agroecosystems under drought conditions: influence of resource quality on the decomposer community. Soil Biol Biochem 21:97–103

  26. Paul KI, Polglase PJ (2004) Calibration of the RothC model to turnover of soil carbon under eucalypts and pines. Aust J Soil Res 42:883–895

  27. Paul KI, Polglase PJ, Nyakuengama JG, Khanna PK (2002) Change in soil carbon following afforestation. For Ecol Manage 168:241–257

  28. Post WM, Kwon KC (2000) Soil carbon sequestration and land-use change: processes and potential. Glob Change Biol 6:317–327

  29. Raich JW, Schlesinger WH (1992) The global carbon dioxide flux in soil respiration and its relationship to vegetation and climate. Tellus 44B:81–99

  30. Randerson JT, Thompson MV, Malmstrom CM, Field CB, Fung IY (1996) Substrate limitations for heterotrophs: implications for models that estimate the seasonal cycle of atmospheric CO2. Global Biogeochem Cycles 10:585–602

  31. SAS (1999) SAS procedures guide. Version 8, vols 1, 2. SAS Institute, Cary, NC

  32. Saurette DD, Chang SX, Thomas BR (2006) Some characteristics of soil respiration in hybrid poplar plantations in northern Alberta. Can J Soil Sci 86:257–268

  33. Schlesinger WH (1985) Decomposition of chaparral shrub foliage. Ecology 66:1353–1359

  34. Sheldrick BH, Wang C (1993) Particle size distribution. In: Carter MR (ed) Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Canadian Society of Soil Science/Lewis, Boca Raton, pp 499–511

  35. Siddique KMH, Belford RK, Tennant D (1990) Root:shoot ratios of old and modern, tall and semi-dwarf wheats in a mediterranean environment. Plant Soil 121:89–98

  36. Soil Classification Working Group (1998) The Canadian system of soil classification. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Publication 1646 (Revised)

  37. Taylor BR, Parkinson D, Parsons WFJ (1989) Nitrogen and lignin content as predictors of litter decay rates: a microcosm test. Ecology 70:97–104

  38. Thomas GW (1996) Soil pH and soil acidity. In: Bartels JM (ed) Methods of soil analysis, Part 3, chemical methods. Soil Sci Soc Am Book Series, Number 5. Soil Science Society of America/American Society Agronomists, Madison, pp 475–490

  39. Trumbore S (2006) Carbon respired by terrestrial ecosystems—recent progress and challenges. Glob Change Biol 12:141–153

  40. Vesterdal L, Ritter E, Gundersen P (2002) Change in soil organic carbon following afforestation of former arable land. For Ecol Manage 169:137–147

  41. Voroney RP, Winter JP, Beyaert RP (1993) Soil microbial biomass C and N. In: Carter MR (ed) Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Canadian Society of Soil Science/Lewis, Boca Raton, pp 277–286

  42. Wang WJ, Dalal RC, Moody PW, Smith CJ (2003) Relationship of soil respiration to microbial biomass, substrate availability and clay content. Soil Biol Biochem 35:273–284

  43. Wang CM, Ouyang H, Shao B, Tian YQ, Zhao JG, Xu HY (2006) Soil carbon changes following afforestation with Olga Bay larch (Larix olgensis Henry) in northeastern China. J Integr Plant Biol 48:503–512

  44. Winston GC, Sundquist ET, Stephens BB, Trumbore SE (1997) Winter CO2 fluxes in a boreal forest. J Geophys Res 102:28795–28804

  45. Zabek LM, Prescott CE (2006) Biomass equations and carbon content of aboveground leafless biomass of hybrid poplar in Coastal British Columbia. For Ecol Manage 223:291–302

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Mr. K. Plourde and Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. for financial support and Mr. D. Kamelchuk for technical support. We also acknowledge Dr. R. Grant for field equipment and Ms. C. Arevalo for providing the soil respiration model for this manuscript. Funding for this research was also provided by an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)—CRD (Collaborative Research Development) grant. The first author was supported by a NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship. We appreciate the comments from three reviewers that improved the earlier version of the manuscript.

Author information

Correspondence to S. X. Chang.

About this article

Cite this article

Saurette, D.D., Chang, S.X. & Thomas, B.R. Land-use conversion effects on CO2 emissions: from agricultural to hybrid poplar plantation. Ecol Res 23, 623–633 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11284-007-0420-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Hybrid poplar
  • Soil carbon
  • Greenhouse gas emission
  • Land-use