Does afforestation of pastures increase sequestration of soil carbon in Mediterranean climates?

M. Hoogmoed, Shaun Cunningham, Jim THOMSON, Patrick Baker, Jason Beringer, Cavagnaro Cavagnaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Afforestation of agricultural land to mitigate climate change and other environmental degradation has been increasingly implemented around the world. However, the effects of afforestation on soil carbon and particularly nitrogen content remain unclear. We conducted a hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis of published data on the effects of afforestation of pastures on soil carbon and nitrogen stocks in a Mediterranean climate. We found no evidence for substantial changes in soil carbon, nitrogen or C:N ratio across three decades of afforestation. However, a lack of data on the carbon content of the litter underestimates the potential for afforestation to sequester carbon in the soil. We investigated soil carbon content under remnant woodlands and found that it was higher than under the afforested pastures suggesting that afforestation has the potential to increase soil carbon over longer time scales. Targeted studies that measure carbon content and form within soils over an extended chronosequence are much needed to improve predictions of the potential for afforestation to increase soil carbon storage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-183
Number of pages8
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume159
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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afforestation
Mediterranean climate
soil carbon
carbon sequestration
pasture
pastures
carbon
soil
nitrogen
chronosequence
meta-analysis
soil nitrogen
environmental degradation
chronosequences
woodland
carbon nitrogen ratio
litter
nitrogen content
agricultural land
woodlands

Cite this

Hoogmoed, M. ; Cunningham, Shaun ; THOMSON, Jim ; Baker, Patrick ; Beringer, Jason ; Cavagnaro, Cavagnaro. / Does afforestation of pastures increase sequestration of soil carbon in Mediterranean climates?. In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 2012 ; Vol. 159. pp. 176-183.
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Does afforestation of pastures increase sequestration of soil carbon in Mediterranean climates? / Hoogmoed, M.; Cunningham, Shaun; THOMSON, Jim; Baker, Patrick; Beringer, Jason; Cavagnaro, Cavagnaro.

In: Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Vol. 159, 2012, p. 176-183.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Cunningham, Shaun

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AU - Cavagnaro, Cavagnaro

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