Assessing the Carbon Sequestration in Short Rotation Coppices of Robinia pseudoacacia L. on Marginal Sites in Northeast Germany

  • Ansgar Quinkenstein
  • Christian Böhm
  • Eduardo da Silva Matos
  • Dirk Freese
  • Reinhard F. Hüttl
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 8)


The assessment of the carbon (C) sequestration potential of different land use systems is receiving increasing attention within the European Union forced by aspects of optimum humus content of soils and the debate on climate change. Short rotation coppice crops (SRC) emerge as a promising land use option both for bioenergy production and C sequestration. In this study, C storage in the biomass and the soil under four SRC systems of Robinia pseudoacacia L. was investigated. The plantations were established on reclamation sites in the mining district of Lower Lusatia in 1995, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Samples were collected in the winter of 2007 and 2009. Average aboveground dry matter (DM) production ranged from 0.04 to 9.5 Mg ha−1 year−1 for 1–14 years of growth, respectively. Total stocks of soil organic carbon (SOC) at 0–60 cm depth after 2 and 14 years of growth were 22.2  ±  11.3 and 106.0  ±  11.7 Mg ha−1, respectively. Interpreting the data as a false chronosequence, the average rate of soil C sequestration in the 0–60 cm layer was 7.0 Mg ha−1 year−1. Hot water extractable carbon (HWC) that represents the labile fraction of SOC was highest in the oldest plantation (1.4 Mg ha−1 for the 0–30 cm layer). The relative proportion of HWC in SOC, however, did not change substantially between diffe­rent aged SRC, indicating that with time, because of increasing stocks, C became increa­singly stabilized within the soils. Overall, plantations of R. pseudoacacia seem to be a promising land use option for post-mining areas due to their high capacity for sequestering C within biomass as well as a high potential to increase soil C stocks on marginal sites.


Bioenergy False chronosequence Hot water extractable carbon Post-mining area Soil carbon stock 



This study was part of the ANFOREK project supported by the Vattenfall Europe Mining AG and of the AgroForstEnergie project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection (project no 22009707).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ansgar Quinkenstein
    • 1
  • Christian Böhm
    • 1
  • Eduardo da Silva Matos
    • 1
  • Dirk Freese
    • 1
  • Reinhard F. Hüttl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Soil Protection and RecultivationBrandenburg University of TechnologyCottbusGermany
  2. 2.Chair of Soil Protection and RecultivationBrandenburg University of TechnologyCottbusGermany
  3. 3.Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany

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