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University of Alberta (2000)

Carbon storage in grazed prairie grasslands of Alberta

Henderson, Darcy Christopher

Titre : Carbon storage in grazed prairie grasslands of Alberta

Auteur : Henderson, Darcy Christopher

Université de soutenance : University of Alberta

Grade : Master of Science 2000

Mitigation of global climate change currently involves research into Iand management for sequestering atmospheric CO2 in soi1 organic matter (SOM). Soils ffom grazed and ungrazed treatments at nine native prairie grassland sites, across three soil zones, were sampled in southern Alberta. SOM was greatest in BIack Chemozemic soils under subhumid fescue prairie and Ieast in Brown under semiarid mixed prairie. Within a soil zone SOM was greater on ungrazed black and grazed brown and dark brown soil. Differences in grazing response were attributed to microclimatic alteration of both plant and soil microbial habitat. Using the naturai abundance of "C technique on a site dominated by Cq (Hue grama) and C3 (needle and thread) grasses, turnover rates of SOM were estimated to decline from 170 years at the sufiace to several thousand years at 20 cm depth. Turnover rates were slow and long-tem grazing exclusion produced small changes in SOM mass

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