Biomass, carbon and nitrogen dynamics of multi-species riparian buffers within an agricultural watershed in Iowa, USA
Authors: Tufekcioglu, A.; Raich, J.W.; Isenhart, T.M.; Schultz, R.C.
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 57, Number 3, April 2003 , pp. 187-198(12)
Abstract:This study was conducted to determine biomass dynamics, carbon sequestration and plant nitrogen immobilization in multispecies riparian buffers, cool-season grass buffers and adjacent crop fields in central Iowa. The seven-year-old multispecies buffers were composed of poplar (Populus×euroamericana ‘Eugenei’) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). The cool-season grass buffers were dominated by non-native forage grasses (Bromus inermis Leysser., Phleum pratense L. and Poa pratensis L). Crop fields were under an annual corn-soybean rotation. Aboveground non-woody live and dead biomass were determined by direct harvests throughout two growing seasons. The dynamics of fine (0–2 mm) and small roots (2–5 mm) were assessed by sequentially collecting 35 cm deep, 5.4 cm diameter cores (125 cm deep cores in the second year) from April through November. Biomass of poplar trees was estimated using allometric equations developed by destructive sampling of trees. Poplar had the greatest aboveground live biomass, N and C pools, while switchgrass had the highest mean aboveground dead biomass, C and N pools. Over the two-year sampling period, live fine root biomass and root C and N in the riparian buffers were significantly greater than in crop fields. Growing-season mean biomass, C and N pools were greater in the multispecies buffer than in either of the crop fields or cool-season grass buffers. Rates of C accumulation in plant and litter biomass in the planted poplar and switchgrass stands averaged 2960 and 820 kg C ha−1 y−1, respectively. Nitrogen immobilization rates in the poplar stands and switchgrass sites averaged 37 and 16 kg N ha−1 y−1, respectively. Planted riparian buffers containing native perennial species therefore have the potential to sequester C from the atmosphere, and to immobilize N in biomass, therefore slowing or preventing N losses to the atmosphere and to ground and surface waters.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: April 2003