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Soil Carbon Pools Before and After 21 Years of Conservation Management in Saskatchewan Soils

dc.contributor.authorHangs, Ryan
dc.contributor.authorSchoenau, Jeff
dc.contributor.authorMcConkey, Brian
dc.contributor.authorSt Luce, Mervin
dc.description.abstractSoils are the largest terrestrial carbon sink on Earth and increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) content is a means of sequestering atmospheric CO2. Limited work has been done to examine the effect of long-term conservation management practices on the stability of SOC in prairie soils. The objective of this study was to assess the nature and permanence of sequestered SOC in contrasting Saskatchewan soils after 21 years of conservation management practices. Ninety fields were sampled in 1996 and again at the same locations in 2018. The fields represent a diverse collection of soil types from within the five soil zones of the province. Comparisons were made between the 1996 and 2018 soils (0-10 cm) in SOC concentration, along with various labile and dynamic SOC fractions: water-extractable (WEOC), light fraction (LF-C), microbial biomass (MB-C), and respirable CO2-C during a six-week incubation. Regardless of soil zone, soils with the smallest initial SOC content accumulated more SOC (ranging from 4.7-9.8 Mg C/ha or 220-454 kg C/ha/year). There was a minor increase in WEOC content (3%), no change in LF-C content, and a substantial increase in MB-C content (41%). Except for greater CO2-C emissions from the 2018 Black soils, there was no difference in CO2-C emissions or percentage of SOC respired between the 2018 and 1996 soils, which indicates similar or greater permanence of the sequestered SOC. Our results suggest that after 21 years of conservation management practices, more of the SOC is present in an active, dynamic fraction that contributes to soil health and nutrient cyclingen_US
dc.description.versionNon-Peer Revieweden_US
dc.relation.ispartofSoils and Crops Workshopen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada*
dc.subjectsoil organic carbonen_US
dc.subjectcarbon sinken_US
dc.subjectstability of SOCen_US
dc.subjectprairie organic soilsen_US
dc.subjectsequestered SOCen_US
dc.subjectconservation managementen_US
dc.titleSoil Carbon Pools Before and After 21 Years of Conservation Management in Saskatchewan Soilsen_US
dc.typePoster Presentationen_US


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