New paper at SPPI: EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION
EFFECTS OF ELEVATED CO2 ON SOIL CARBON SEQUESTRATION
Citation: Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. “Effects of Elevated CO2 on Soil Carbon Sequestration.? Last modified March 12, 2014. http://www.co2science.org/subject/c/summaries/carbonsoils.php.
It is important to note at the outset that atmospheric CO2 enrichment typically has but a small effect on the decomposition rates of senesced plant materials present in soils; yet this fact often leads to significantly greater soil carbon sequestration, as demonstrated by De Angelis et al. (2000)1, who reported a 4% reduction in the decomposition rate of leaf litter beneath stands of 30-year-old Mediterranean forest species enriched with air of 710 ppm CO2, and who thus concluded that “if this effect is coupled to an increase in primary production [which nearly always occurs in response to elevated CO2] there will be a net rise of C-storage in the soils of forest ecosystems.” Similarly, in a study of soybean and sorghum plant residues grown at 705 ppm CO2, where decomposition rates were definitely not impacted by elevated CO2, Henning et al. (1996)2 still concluded that “the possibility exists for increased soil C storage under field crops in an elevated CO2 world,” due, of course, to the greater residue production resulting from CO2-enhanced plant growth.