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Article

Carbon Budget of an Agroforestry System after Being Converted from a Poplar Short Rotation Coppice

1
Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Life Sciences, 56127 Pisa, Italy
2
Department of Technology Assessment and Substance Cycles, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Potsdam-Bornim e.V. Max-Eyth-Allee 100, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
3
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale Italia 39, 07100 Sassari, Italy
4
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (DAFE), University of Pisa, 56127 Pisa, Italy
5
Centre for Agro-Environmental Research (CiRAA) “Enrico Avanzi”, 56122 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(9), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091251
Received: 5 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 25 August 2020
Poplar (Populus L. spp.) Short Rotation Coppice systems (SRCs) for bioenergy production are being converted back to arable land. Transitioning to Alley Cropping Systems (ACSs) could be a suitable strategy for integrating former tree rows and arable crops. A field trial (Pisa, Central Italy) was set up with the aim of assessing the C storage of an ACS system based on hybrid poplar and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) and comparing it with that of an SRC cultivation system. The carbon budget at the agroecosystem scale was assessed in the first year of the transition using the net biome production (NBP) approach with a simplified method. The overall NBP for the SRC was positive (96 ± 40 g C m−2 year−1), highlighting that the system was a net carbon sink (i.e., NBP > 0). However, the ACS registered a net C loss (i.e., NBP < 0), since the NBP was −93 ± 56 g C m−2 year−1. In the first year of the transition, converting the SRC into an ACS counteracted the potential beneficial effect of C storage in tree belowground biomass due to the high heterotrophic respiration rate recorded in the ACS, which was fostered by the incorporation of residues and tillage disturbance in the alley. Additional years of heterotrophic respiration measurements could allow for an estimate of the speed and extent of C losses. View Full-Text
Keywords: alley cropping; carbon sequestration; climate change mitigation; net biome production; silvoarable system; soil CO2 flux; soil respiration partitioning alley cropping; carbon sequestration; climate change mitigation; net biome production; silvoarable system; soil CO2 flux; soil respiration partitioning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pecchioni, G.; Bosco, S.; Volpi, I.; Mantino, A.; Dragoni, F.; Giannini, V.; Tozzini, C.; Mele, M.; Ragaglini, G. Carbon Budget of an Agroforestry System after Being Converted from a Poplar Short Rotation Coppice. Agronomy 2020, 10, 1251. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091251

AMA Style

Pecchioni G, Bosco S, Volpi I, Mantino A, Dragoni F, Giannini V, Tozzini C, Mele M, Ragaglini G. Carbon Budget of an Agroforestry System after Being Converted from a Poplar Short Rotation Coppice. Agronomy. 2020; 10(9):1251. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091251

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pecchioni, Giovanni; Bosco, Simona; Volpi, Iride; Mantino, Alberto; Dragoni, Federico; Giannini, Vittoria; Tozzini, Cristiano; Mele, Marcello; Ragaglini, Giorgio. 2020. "Carbon Budget of an Agroforestry System after Being Converted from a Poplar Short Rotation Coppice" Agronomy 10, no. 9: 1251. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10091251

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