Advertisement

Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 60, Issue 1–3, pp 49–55 | Cite as

Effects of agronomic practices on the soil carbon storage potential in arable farming in Austria

  • Georg DerschEmail author
  • Karin Böhm
Article

Abstract

According to the Kyoto-Protocol for carbon dioxide mitigation the direct human induced sequestration potential of carbon in agricultural soils may in the future be included for calculating net changes in greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore we used long-term experiments on arable land in Austria differing strongly in climate and soil conditions to explore the effects of agronomic practices on changes in soil organic carbon content. Optimal mineral N fertilizer input increased the carbon stocks on an average to 2.1 t ha−1compared with no N fertilization in a 36 years period. Additional farm yard manure application (10 t ha−1 y−1) enhanced carbon storage to about 5.6 t ha−1 after 21 years. Site-specific influences must be considered. Losses of 2.4 t carbon per ha were caused by additional irrigation of sugar beet and maize in a rotation with cereals in a 21 years period. The incorporation of all crop residues resulted in an increase of 3.4 t ha−1 organic carbon in topsoil after 17 years. In the uppermost soil layer (0–10 cm) minimum and reduced tillage treatment enhanced carbon stocks to about 4.7 t ha−1 and 3.2 t ha−1 compared to conventional soil management within a decade. Based on these results, only a limited soil carbon sequestration potential can be inferred: Manuring and incorporation of crop residues are well-proven practices on arable land and therefore no additional human induced carbon sequestration might be achieved. The adoption of minimum tillage on Phaeozems, Chernozems and Kastanozems could, roughly calculated, result in a supplementary carbon storage of about 0.6% of the entire present annual carbon dioxide emission in Austria. However, the storage of carbon in topsoil means only a mid-term sequestration. By changing practices in short-terms, these amounts of carbon might be a source of additional carbon dioxide in the future.

agricultural practice arable land carbon dioxide emission carbon sequestration climatic change 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Batjes NH (1998) Mitigation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations by increased carbon sequestration in the soil. Biol Fertil Soils 27(3): 230–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bolin B & Cook RB (1983) The major biomechanical cycles and their interactions. Scope 21, John Wiley and Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Falloon PD, Smith P, Smith JU, Szabo J, Coleman K and Marshall S (1998) Regional estimates of carbon sequestration potential: Linking the Rothamsted Carbon Model to GIS Databases. Biol Fertil Soils 27(3): 236–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. FCCC (1998) Framework convention on climate change/ Subsidiary body for scientific and technological advice/ Inf.1: Methodological IssuesGoogle Scholar
  5. FMEYF (1997) Second national climate report of the austrian federal government. Federal Ministry of Environment, Youth and Family Affairs, ViennaGoogle Scholar
  6. Franko U & Oelschlägel B (1995) Effect of climate and texture on the biological activity of soil organic matter turnover. Arch Agron Soil Sci 39: 155–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Friedel JK, Munch JC & Fischer WR (1996) Soil microbial properties and the assessment of avoidable soil organic matter in a haplic luvisol after several years of cultivation and crop rotation. Soil Biol Biochem 28(4–5): 479–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Houghton RA & Woodwell GM (1989) Globale Veränderung des Klimas. Spektrum der Wissenschaft Juni 1989, 106–114Google Scholar
  9. Kandeler E, Tscherko D and Spiegel H (1999) Long-term monitoring of microbial biomass, N mineralisation and enzyme activities of a Chernozem under different tillage management. Biol Fertil Soils 28: 343–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Körschens M (1997) The most important long-term field experiments of the world - overview - importance - results. Archiv Agron Soil Sci 42: 157–168Google Scholar
  11. Körschens M, Weigel A and Schulz E (1998) Turnover of soil organic matter and long-term balances - tools for evaluating sustainable productivity of soils. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 161: 409–424Google Scholar
  12. Krupenikov IA & Filipchuk VF (1996) Irrigation of Chernozems of the pontic-danubian facies. Eurasian Soil Sci 28(2): 43–51Google Scholar
  13. Lal R & Kimble JM (1998) Soil conservation for mitigating the greenhouse effect. Adv Geoecology 31: 185–192Google Scholar
  14. Liang BC, Gregorich EG, MacKenzie AF, Schnitzer M, Voroney RP, Monreal CM & Beyaert RP (1998) Retention and turnover of corn residue carbon in some eastern canadian soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 62: 1361–1366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Potter KN, Jones OR, Torbett HA and Unger PW (1997) crop rotation and tillage effects on organic carbon sequestration in the semiarid southern great plains. Soil Sci 162(2): 140–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Smith P, Powlson DS, Glendining MJ & Smith JU (1997) Potential for carbon sequestration in european soils: preliminary estimates for five scenarios using results from long-term experiments. Global Change Biol 3(1): 67–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Walkley A & Black IA (1934) An examination of the Degtjareff method for determining soil organic matter and proposed modification of chromic titration method. Soil Sci 37: 29–38Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Nutrition, Institute for Agricultural EcologyFederal Office and Research Centre for AgricultureViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of Plant Nutrition, Institute for Agricultural EcologyFederal Office and Research Centre for AgricultureViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations