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Open AccessArticle

Seasonal Soil Respiration Dynamics and Carbon-Stock Variations in Mountain Permanent Grasslands Compared to Arable Lands

1
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari ed Ambientali, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60121 Ancona, Italy
2
Nucleo di Ricerca Sulla Desertificazione (NRD), Università degli Studi di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Sassari, 07100 Sassari, Italy
4
East Malling Research, East Malling ME19, UK
5
Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 305-8604 Tsukuba, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(8), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9080165
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 27 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Agroecosystems)
Permanent grasslands provide a wide array of ecosystem services. Despite this, few studies have investigated grassland carbon (C) dynamics, and especially those related to the effects of land-use changes. This study aimed to determine whether the land-use change from permanent grassland to arable lands resulted in variations in the soil C stock, and whether such variations were due to increased soil respiration or to management practices. To address this, seasonal variations of soil respiration, sensitivity of soil respiration to soil temperature (Q10), and soil C stock variations generated by land-use changes were analyzed in a temperate mountain area of central Italy. The comparisons were performed for a permanent grassland and two adjacent fields, one cultivated with lentil and the other with emmer, during the 2015 crop year. Soil respiration and its heterotrophic component showed different spatial and temporal dynamics. Annual cumulative soil respiration rates were 6.05, 5.05 and 3.99 t C ha−1 year−1 for grassland, lentil and emmer, respectively. Both soil respiration and heterotrophic soil respiration were positively correlated with soil temperature at 10 cm depth. Derived Q10 values were from 2.23 to 6.05 for soil respiration, and from 1.82 to 4.06 for heterotrophic respiration. Soil C stock at over 0.2 m in depth was 93.56, 48.74 and 46.80 t C ha−1 for grassland, lentil and emmer, respectively. The land-use changes from permanent grassland to arable land lead to depletion in terms of the soil C stock due to water soil erosion. A more general evaluation appears necessary to determine the multiple effects of this land-use change at the landscape scale. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; C stock; CO2; GHG; land use change; Q10 ecosystem services; C stock; CO2; GHG; land use change; Q10
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Francioni, M.; D’Ottavio, P.; Lai, R.; Trozzo, L.; Budimir, K.; Foresi, L.; Kishimoto-Mo, A.W.; Baldoni, N.; Allegrezza, M.; Tesei, G.; Toderi, M. Seasonal Soil Respiration Dynamics and Carbon-Stock Variations in Mountain Permanent Grasslands Compared to Arable Lands. Agriculture 2019, 9, 165.

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