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Title: The carbon and nitrogen cycle impacts of reverting perennial bioenergy switchgrass to an annual maize crop rotation

Abstract

In the age of biofuel innovation, bioenergy crop sustainability assessment has determined how candidate systems alter the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycle. These research efforts revealed how perennial crops, such as switchgrass, increase belowground soil organic carbon (SOC) and lose less N than annual crops, like maize. As demand for bioenergy increases, land managers will need to choose whether to invest in food or fuel cropping systems. However, little research has focused on the C and N cycle impacts of reverting purpose–grown perennial bioenergy crops back to annual cropping systems. We investigated this knowledge gap by measuring C and N pools and fluxes over 2 years following reversion of a mature switchgrass stand to an annual maize rotation. The most striking treatment difference was in ecosystem respiration (ER), with the maize–converted treatment showing the highest respiration flux of 2,073.63 (± 367.20) g C m –2 year –1 compared to the switchgrass 1,412.70 (± 28.72) g C m –2 year –1 and maize–control treatments 1,699.16 (± 234.79) g C m –2 year –1. This difference was likely driven by increased heterotrophic respiration of belowground switchgrass necromass in the maize–converted treatment. Predictions from the DayCent model showed it would take approximatelymore » 5 years for SOC dynamics in the converted treatment to return to conditions of the maize–control treatment. N losses were highest from the maize–converted treatment when compared to undisturbed switchgrass and maize–control, particularly during the first conversion year. These results show substantial C and N losses occur within the first 2 years after reversion of switchgrass to maize. Given farmers are likely to rotate between perennial and annual crops in the future to meet market demands, our results indicate that improvements to the land conversion approach are needed to preserve SOC built up by perennial crops to maintain the long–term ecological sustainability of bioenergy cropping systems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7]; ORCiD logo [2];  [8];  [9];  [7];  [10]; ORCiD logo [11]; ORCiD logo [12]; ORCiD logo [13]; ORCiD logo [14]
  1. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, School of Agriculture and Environment University of Western Australia Crawley WA Australia
  2. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences University of Idaho Moscow ID USA
  3. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  4. Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit USDA/ARS Urbana IL USA
  5. Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  6. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  7. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Colorado State University Fort Collins CO USA
  8. Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  9. Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  10. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  11. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  12. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  13. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
  14. Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit USDA/ARS Urbana IL USA, Carl R Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA, Department of Plant Biology University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign Urbana IL USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI), Urbana, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1668453
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1670164
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018420
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy; Journal ID: ISSN 1757-1693
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
Bioenergy; eddy covariance; land use change; soil biogeochemical cycles

Citation Formats

Moore, Caitlin E., Berardi, Danielle M., Blanc‐Betes, Elena, Dracup, Evan C., Egenriether, Sada, Gomez‐Casanovas, Nuria, Hartman, Melannie D., Hudiburg, Tara, Kantola, Ilsa, Masters, Michael D., Parton, William J., Van Allen, Rachel, Haden, Adam C., Yang, Wendy H., DeLucia, Evan H., and Bernacchi, Carl J. The carbon and nitrogen cycle impacts of reverting perennial bioenergy switchgrass to an annual maize crop rotation. United Kingdom: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12743.
Moore, Caitlin E., Berardi, Danielle M., Blanc‐Betes, Elena, Dracup, Evan C., Egenriether, Sada, Gomez‐Casanovas, Nuria, Hartman, Melannie D., Hudiburg, Tara, Kantola, Ilsa, Masters, Michael D., Parton, William J., Van Allen, Rachel, Haden, Adam C., Yang, Wendy H., DeLucia, Evan H., & Bernacchi, Carl J. The carbon and nitrogen cycle impacts of reverting perennial bioenergy switchgrass to an annual maize crop rotation. United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12743.
Moore, Caitlin E., Berardi, Danielle M., Blanc‐Betes, Elena, Dracup, Evan C., Egenriether, Sada, Gomez‐Casanovas, Nuria, Hartman, Melannie D., Hudiburg, Tara, Kantola, Ilsa, Masters, Michael D., Parton, William J., Van Allen, Rachel, Haden, Adam C., Yang, Wendy H., DeLucia, Evan H., and Bernacchi, Carl J. Tue . "The carbon and nitrogen cycle impacts of reverting perennial bioenergy switchgrass to an annual maize crop rotation". United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12743.
@article{osti_1668453,
title = {The carbon and nitrogen cycle impacts of reverting perennial bioenergy switchgrass to an annual maize crop rotation},
author = {Moore, Caitlin E. and Berardi, Danielle M. and Blanc‐Betes, Elena and Dracup, Evan C. and Egenriether, Sada and Gomez‐Casanovas, Nuria and Hartman, Melannie D. and Hudiburg, Tara and Kantola, Ilsa and Masters, Michael D. and Parton, William J. and Van Allen, Rachel and Haden, Adam C. and Yang, Wendy H. and DeLucia, Evan H. and Bernacchi, Carl J.},
abstractNote = {In the age of biofuel innovation, bioenergy crop sustainability assessment has determined how candidate systems alter the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycle. These research efforts revealed how perennial crops, such as switchgrass, increase belowground soil organic carbon (SOC) and lose less N than annual crops, like maize. As demand for bioenergy increases, land managers will need to choose whether to invest in food or fuel cropping systems. However, little research has focused on the C and N cycle impacts of reverting purpose–grown perennial bioenergy crops back to annual cropping systems. We investigated this knowledge gap by measuring C and N pools and fluxes over 2 years following reversion of a mature switchgrass stand to an annual maize rotation. The most striking treatment difference was in ecosystem respiration (ER), with the maize–converted treatment showing the highest respiration flux of 2,073.63 (± 367.20) g C m–2 year–1 compared to the switchgrass 1,412.70 (± 28.72) g C m–2 year–1 and maize–control treatments 1,699.16 (± 234.79) g C m–2 year–1. This difference was likely driven by increased heterotrophic respiration of belowground switchgrass necromass in the maize–converted treatment. Predictions from the DayCent model showed it would take approximately 5 years for SOC dynamics in the converted treatment to return to conditions of the maize–control treatment. N losses were highest from the maize–converted treatment when compared to undisturbed switchgrass and maize–control, particularly during the first conversion year. These results show substantial C and N losses occur within the first 2 years after reversion of switchgrass to maize. Given farmers are likely to rotate between perennial and annual crops in the future to meet market demands, our results indicate that improvements to the land conversion approach are needed to preserve SOC built up by perennial crops to maintain the long–term ecological sustainability of bioenergy cropping systems.},
doi = {10.1111/gcbb.12743},
journal = {Global Change Biology. Bioenergy},
issn = {1757-1693},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2020},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1111/gcbb.12743

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