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Title: Modeling the impact of agricultural land use and management on US carbon budgets

Abstract

Cultivation of the terrestrial land surface can create either a source or sink of atmospheric CO₂, depending on land management practices. The Community Land Model (CLM) provides a useful tool for exploring how land use and management impact the soil carbon pool at regional to global scales. CLM was recently updated to include representation of managed lands growing maize, soybean, and spring wheat. In this study, CLM-Crop is used to investigate the impacts of various management practices, including fertilizer use and differential rates of crop residue removal, on the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage of croplands in the continental United States over approximately a 170-year period. Results indicate that total US SOC stocks have already lost over 8 Pg C (10%) due to land cultivation practices (e.g., fertilizer application, cultivar choice, and residue removal), compared to a land surface composed of native vegetation (i.e., grasslands). After long periods of cultivation, individual subgrids (the equivalent of a field plot) growing maize and soybean lost up to 65% of the carbon stored compared to a grassland site. Crop residue management showed the greatest effect on soil carbon storage, with low and medium residue returns resulting in additional losses of 5 and 3.5%,more » respectively, in US carbon storage, while plots with high residue returns stored 2% more carbon. Nitrogenous fertilizer can alter the amount of soil carbon stocks significantly. Under current levels of crop residue return, not applying fertilizer resulted in a 5% loss of soil carbon. Our simulations indicate that disturbance through cultivation will always result in a loss of soil carbon, and management practices will have a large influence on the magnitude of SOC loss.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb, IL (United States). Dept. of Geography.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23), Earth System Modeling; National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
OSTI Identifier:
1197737
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1201739; OSTI ID: 1396278
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 12; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Agriculture; Biogeochemistry; Soil Organic Carbon; land surface model

Citation Formats

Drewniak, B. A., Mishra, U., Song, J., Prell, J., and Kotamarthi, V. R. Modeling the impact of agricultural land use and management on US carbon budgets. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-12-2119-2015.
Drewniak, B. A., Mishra, U., Song, J., Prell, J., & Kotamarthi, V. R. Modeling the impact of agricultural land use and management on US carbon budgets. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-12-2119-2015.
Drewniak, B. A., Mishra, U., Song, J., Prell, J., and Kotamarthi, V. R. Thu . "Modeling the impact of agricultural land use and management on US carbon budgets". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-12-2119-2015.
@article{osti_1197737,
title = {Modeling the impact of agricultural land use and management on US carbon budgets},
author = {Drewniak, B. A. and Mishra, U. and Song, J. and Prell, J. and Kotamarthi, V. R.},
abstractNote = {Cultivation of the terrestrial land surface can create either a source or sink of atmospheric CO₂, depending on land management practices. The Community Land Model (CLM) provides a useful tool for exploring how land use and management impact the soil carbon pool at regional to global scales. CLM was recently updated to include representation of managed lands growing maize, soybean, and spring wheat. In this study, CLM-Crop is used to investigate the impacts of various management practices, including fertilizer use and differential rates of crop residue removal, on the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage of croplands in the continental United States over approximately a 170-year period. Results indicate that total US SOC stocks have already lost over 8 Pg C (10%) due to land cultivation practices (e.g., fertilizer application, cultivar choice, and residue removal), compared to a land surface composed of native vegetation (i.e., grasslands). After long periods of cultivation, individual subgrids (the equivalent of a field plot) growing maize and soybean lost up to 65% of the carbon stored compared to a grassland site. Crop residue management showed the greatest effect on soil carbon storage, with low and medium residue returns resulting in additional losses of 5 and 3.5%, respectively, in US carbon storage, while plots with high residue returns stored 2% more carbon. Nitrogenous fertilizer can alter the amount of soil carbon stocks significantly. Under current levels of crop residue return, not applying fertilizer resulted in a 5% loss of soil carbon. Our simulations indicate that disturbance through cultivation will always result in a loss of soil carbon, and management practices will have a large influence on the magnitude of SOC loss.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-12-2119-2015},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 7,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-2119-2015

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 6 works
Citation information provided by
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Changes in soil organic carbon under biofuel crops
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Long-Term Corn Residue Effects
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change
    journal, February 2008


    The effect of vertically resolved soil biogeochemistry and alternate soil C and N models on C dynamics of CLM4
    journal, January 2013


    Soil Erosion: A Carbon Sink or Source?
    journal, February 2008


    Representing agriculture in Earth System Models: Approaches and priorities for development: AGRICULTURE IN ESMS
    journal, September 2017

    • McDermid, S. S.; Mearns, L. O.; Ruane, A. C.
    • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 9, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1002/2016ms000749

    Can intra-aggregate pore structures affect the aggregate's effectiveness in protecting carbon?
    journal, February 2013


    Soil C storage as affected by tillage and straw management: An assessment using field measurements and model predictions
    journal, January 2011

    • van Groenigen, Kees Jan; Hastings, Astley; Forristal, Dermot
    • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 140, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.008

    Crop residue removal and fertilizer N: Effects on soil organic carbon in a long-term crop rotation experiment on a Udic Boroll
    journal, January 2010

    • Lemke, R. L.; VandenBygaart, A. J.; Campbell, C. A.
    • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 135, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2009.08.010

    Grand Challenges for Life-Cycle Assessment of Biofuels
    journal, March 2011

    • McKone, T. E.; Nazaroff, W. W.; Berck, P.
    • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 45, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1021/es103579c

    Changes in soil carbon sequestration, fractionation and soil fertility in response to sugarcane residue retention are site-specific
    journal, April 2012


    Crop planting dates: an analysis of global patterns: Global crop planting dates
    journal, June 2010


    Carbon payback times for crop-based biofuel expansion in the tropics: the effects of changing yield and technology
    journal, July 2008


    The U.S. Carbon Budget: Contributions from Land-Use Change
    journal, July 1999


    Topography Influences Management System Effects on Total Soil Carbon and Nitrogen
    journal, January 2009

    • Senthilkumar, S.; Kravchenko, A. N.; Robertson, G. P.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2008.0392

    Soil quality impacts of residue removal for bioethanol production
    journal, March 2009


    Field wind tunnel testing of two silt loam soils on the North American Central High Plains
    journal, September 2013


    Monitoring Soil Quality to Assess the Sustainability of Harvesting Corn Stover
    journal, January 2011

    • Karlen, Douglas L.; Varvel, Gary E.; Johnson, Jane M. F.
    • Agronomy Journal, Vol. 103, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2134/agronj2010.0160s

    Whole-Profile Soil Carbon Stocks: The Danger of Assuming Too Much from Analyses of Too Little
    journal, January 2011

    • Kravchenko, A. N.; Robertson, G. P.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2010.0076

    Crop Residues: The Rest of the Story
    journal, November 2009

    • Karlen, Douglas L.; Lal, Rattan; Follett, Ronald F.
    • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, Issue 21
    • DOI: 10.1021/es9011004

    Global pattern of soil carbon losses due to the conversion of forests to agricultural land
    journal, February 2014

    • Wei, Xiaorong; Shao, Mingan; Gale, William
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 4, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep04062

    Corn-Soybean Sequence and Tillage Effects on Soil Carbon Dynamics and Storage
    journal, January 2007

    • Huggins, D. R.; Allmaras (deceased), R. R.; Clapp, C. E.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 71, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2005.0231

    Biofuels, Land Use Change, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Some Unexplored Variables
    journal, February 2009

    • Kim, Hyungtae; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.
    • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1021/es802681k

    Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?
    journal, October 2009


    Nitrogen fertilizer effects on soil carbon balances in Midwestern U.S. agricultural systems
    journal, July 2009

    • Russell, Ann E.; Cambardella, Cynthia A.; Laird, David A.
    • Ecological Applications, Vol. 19, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1890/07-1919.1

    Grassland Management And Conversion Into Grassland: Effects On Soil Carbon
    journal, April 2001


    Nitrogen Fertilization Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen in a Dryland Cropping System
    journal, January 1999

    • Halvorson, Ardell D.; Reule, Curtis A.; Follett, Ronald F.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 63, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj1999.634912x

    Ecosystem model spin-up: Estimating steady state conditions in a coupled terrestrial carbon and nitrogen cycle model
    journal, November 2005


    Modeling agriculture in the Community Land Model
    journal, January 2013

    • Drewniak, B.; Song, J.; Prell, J.
    • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 6, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-6-495-2013

    Current and potential sustainable corn stover feedstock for biofuel production in the United States
    journal, December 2012


    Agricultural Management and Soil Carbon Storage in Surface vs. Deep Layers
    journal, January 2011

    • Syswerda, S. P.; Corbin, A. T.; Mokma, D. L.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0414

    Set-asides can be better climate investment than corn ethanol
    journal, March 2009

    • Piñeiro, Gervasio; Jobbágy, Esteban G.; Baker, Justin
    • Ecological Applications, Vol. 19, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1890/08-0645.1

    Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration Rates by Tillage and Crop Rotation
    journal, January 2002

    • West, Tristram O.; Post, Wilfred M.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 66, Issue 6, p. 1930-1946
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2002.1930

    Long-term Effects of Tillage and Corn Stalk Return on Soil Carbon Dynamics
    journal, January 2005

    • Hooker, B. A.; Morris, T. F.; Peters, R.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 69, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2005.0188

    Changing role of cultivated land in the global carbon cycle
    journal, July 1998

    • Buyanovsky, G. A.; Wagner, G. H.
    • Biology and Fertility of Soils, Vol. 27, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1007/s003740050427

    Soil Carbon Sequestration Impacts on Global Climate Change and Food Security
    journal, June 2004


    Tillage and Nitrogen Effects on Soil Organic Matter Fractions in Wheat-based Systems
    journal, January 2006

    • Dou, Fugen; Hons, Frank M.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 70, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2005.0229

    Greenhouse gas contributions and mitigation potential of agriculture in the central USA
    journal, August 2005


    Long-Term Corn Residue Effects
    journal, January 2004

    • Wilts, A. R.; Reicosky, D. C.; Allmaras, R. R.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 68, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2004.1342

    Crop Residue Removal Impacts on Soil Productivity and Environmental Quality
    journal, April 2009


    Integrated BIosphere Simulator (IBIS) Yield and Nitrate Loss Predictions for Wisconsin Maize Receiving Varied Amounts of Nitrogen Fertilizer
    journal, January 2003

    • Kucharik, Christopher J.; Brye, Kristofor R.
    • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 32, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2003.2470

    Biofuels from crop residues
    journal, April 2007


    Contemporary Evidence of Soil Carbon Loss in the U.S. Corn Belt
    journal, January 2009

    • Senthilkumar, S.; Basso, B.; Kravchenko, A. N.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0044

    Miscanthus biomass productivity within US croplands and its potential impact on soil organic carbon
    journal, August 2012


    The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration
    journal, January 2007

    • Khan, S. A.; Mulvaney, R. L.; Ellsworth, T. R.
    • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 36, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0099

    Crop and Soil Productivity Response to Corn Residue Removal
    journal, January 2004

    • Wilhelm, W. W.; Johnson, J. M. F.; Hatfield, J. L.
    • Agronomy Journal, Vol. 96, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2134/agronj2004.0001

    Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt
    journal, February 2008


    Spatial Patterns of Soil Organic Carbon in the Contiguous United States
    journal, January 1994


    Predicting the Spatial Variation of the Soil Organic Carbon Pool at a Regional Scale
    journal, January 2010

    • Mishra, Umakant; Lal, Rattan; Liu, Desheng
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0158

    Corn Stover Removal for Expanded Uses Reduces Soil Fertility and Structural Stability
    journal, January 2009

    • Blanco-Canqui, Humberto; Lal, R.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2008.0141

    Crop residue removal effects on soil carbon: Measured and inter-model comparisons
    journal, October 2012


    Changes in soil organic carbon under biofuel crops
    journal, February 2009