Forestry Hanover Seminar Series presents: Stephanie Grand, MSU

Date: April 14, 2015
Location: 225 Natural Resources

Time: 4 p.m. (Refreshments at 3:50 p.m.)

Forestry Hanover Seminar Series presents:

Title: Soil carbon dynamics in short-rotation woody plantations of the northern Lake States

Presented by:

Stephanie Grand
Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Michigan State University


Abstract: Disturbance of previously idled agricultural land to establish bioenergy plantations has the potential to cause a significant loss of soil carbon, which can influence the net greenhouse gas benefit associated with biomass fuels. Following disturbance, soil C loss generally occurs as a result of the accelerated decomposition of existing soil organic matter. In addition, many soils contain inorganic C in the form of carbonate minerals. Soil carbonates can be sensitive to changes in environmental conditions and therefore have the potential to contribute to disturbance-induced soil C loss.

The objective of this study is to determine the response of organic and inorganic C stocks to the soil disturbance associated with plantation establishment. We measured organic and inorganic C content in soils of six hybrid poplars and willows plantations located in the northern Lakes States. To assess changes in soil C storage following land conversion, we compared the amount and distribution of C in soil cores obtained before and 5 years after plantation establishment. We found that soil organic and inorganic C stocks had a contrasting depth distribution in the soil profile and showed a different response to disturbance. In this talk, I will discuss some of the processes affecting soil organic and inorganic C dynamics. I will also explore how these different dynamics affected the net response of soil C to disturbance.