Terrestrial carbon pools in grasslands and agricultural soils: preliminary data from the Corn Belt and Great Plains regions

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Soil Science Society of America

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Soil organic matter is recognized as an important component of soil quality through its influence on soil physical properties and the cycling of nutrients. Interest in soil organic matter has expanded to include its role in the worldwide carbon (C) budget and climate change. This chapter develops reliable data sets to assess the potential for C sequestration in agroecosystems of the Great Plains and Corn Belt. It represents the spring sampling of six sites within the network of 41 sites, three from the Corn Belt and three from the Great Plains. For the Corn Belt sites, C mineralization and particulate organic matter (POM)-C were the most sensitive indicators of management effects on soil organic matter. No-till generally showed increased amounts of POM and mineralized C in the top 20 cm, suggesting increases in labile C fractions compared with conventional tillage.

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