Consortium for Agricultural Soil

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					Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS) Executive summary Soil carbon sequestration will reduce the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere while improving America‟s farmland and the nation‟s agricultural economy. The Consortium for Agricultural Soil Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS- pronounced like chasms) is providing the information and technology necessary to develop, analyze and implement carbon sequestration strategies and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Concern has been mounting about the considerable buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This atmospheric buildup has been greatly accelerated by industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas). Crops and other plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, as they are harvested, their residue and roots are deposited into the soil where portions can remain for long periods. Carbon accumulation in soils can be greatly improved by various forms of conservation management, such as no-till and replanting with grasses. This carbon sequestration occurs because there is less soil disturbance and more carbon is added to the soil. Corollary benefits of carbon sequestration are increased soil fertility, reductions in erosion and increases in soil quality. The other main greenhouse gases – nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) – are also affected by cropland management. Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils, for example, can be reduced by better managing nitrogen fertilizers, cover crops, and tillage. To help reduce greenhouse gases, a new plan is emerging; sequester carbon in U.S. agricultural soils, which helps the soil and air and benefits the U.S. agricultural economy. It has been estimated that 20% or more of targeted emission reductions could be met by agricultural soil carbon sequestration. Substantial additional credit could be gained by reducing emissions of the other greenhouse gases. Under a private emission trading strategy, U.S. farmers, practicing appropriate conservation practices, could sell greenhouse gas or carbon credits to carbon emitters. Several companies have begun investing in carbon sequestration projects in the US and abroad, on a voluntary basis. Early estimates indicate that the potential for a carbon "credits" market for U.S. agriculture is $1-5 billion per year for the next 20-40 years. 1 Alternatively, government policies might be implemented to directly support farmers for implementing conservation management practices; currently, several bills are being considered by Congress to foster such practices. Either strategy would help mitigate the atmosphere‟s greenhouse gas buildup while the needed long-term technical solutions are found for producing clean energy. The goal of our consortium is to provide the tools and information needed to successfully implement soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas reduction programs so that we may lower the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere while providing income and incentives to farmers and improving the soil. Such benefits include an increased and stable agricultural production and an overall reduction of soil erosion and pollution by agricultural chemicals. The Consortium brings together the nation‟s top researchers in the areas of soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, conservation practices, computer modeling and economic analysis. Sophisticated information technology is being used to organize U.S. agricultural data, collected over decades, at a cost of millions of dollars, on soils, climate and management, and apply it to the problem of carbon sequestration. Powerful computer models of agricultural ecosystems and economic systems are already being used by CASMGS for preliminary predictions of current and potential carbon sequestration and for economic and policy assessments. Recent CASMGS contributions include Senate and Congressional briefings on C sequestration, national emission and sequestration estimates for EPA, USDA and Department of State, and numerous scientific and press publications and reports. The magnitude of the greenhouse gas mitigation problem is huge and requires an effort of matching proportions. When correctly instituted, the benefits will be substantial and long-lasting. CASMGS has received funding of $335,000 (through EPA) and $15 million (HR 2559) in FY 2001 and FY2002 to initiate the Consortium‟s research program. To expand and continue this work and address other key objectives, CASMGS requests continued funding of $10 million per year for an additional five-year period. Such funding would enable us to provide the R&D necessary to implement carbon sequestration and greenhouse mitigation

strategies in agriculture. The funds will be utilized by a consortium of expert scientists from Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Montana State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University System and University of Nebraska, in conjunction with research groups within USDA‟s Agricultural Research Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Economic Research Service and the Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Background How does the increase in atmospheric CO2 relate to the terrestrial carbon cycle and agriculture? The carbon cycle -- the continual recycling of carbon between the atmosphere, plants, animals and soil -- is the basis of all terrestrial life. Plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into tissue through photosynthesis, forming the first link in the food chain. Upon death, plant tissues are decomposed by soil microorganisms and the carbon in the biomass is released back to the atmosphere as CO2 through respiration. However, the decay of organic materials is slowed by a number of factors resulting in the formation of organic residues (often referred to as humus) which can persist in the soil for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Consequently, soils contain the largest reservoir of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere -- about twice that present in all terrestrial vegetation. U.S. agricultural soils typically contain from 1 to 5% of their total weight as organic carbon.

Trends in U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Million metric tonnes carbon equivalents) Category CO2 Fossil fuel combustion Other industrial sources CH4 Mining & industry Land use & agriculture Landfills & waste N2O Transportation & industry Land use & agriculture HFCs, PFCs, SF6 Total Source: U.S. EPA At present, the amount of CO2 in the air is increasing exponentially, by over 3 billion tons of carbon per year, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels for energy and transportation. Other sources of this buildup of CO2 include deforestation and biomass burning, mainly in the tropics. Historically, U.S. agricultural soils have also been a source of CO2. With settlement and the expansion of agriculture, forests were cleared, wetlands were drained and almost all of the tallgrass and midgrass prairies were plowed. These activities resulted in the release of large amounts of CO2 from soils, due to the increased oxidation of soil organic matter caused by drainage and intensive tillage. Crop yields were low and crop residues were often removed from the fields, reducing the replenishment of organic matter (carbon) to soil. As a result, the carbon contents of most agricultural soils were reduced by 30-50% or more from their original levels. However, in recent decades, higher yields, greater crop residue return and the use of less intensive tillage practices have shown promise for reversing this trend. In addition, many marginal croplands have reverted to forests and grasslands, some as the result of government programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program. Consequently, agricultural soils now represent a large potential „sink‟ for CO2, which can be exploited to sequester carbon through the increased use of conservation farming practices. 1990 1320 20 60 50 60 30 80 20 1650 1998 1470 25 60 60 60 30 90 40 1835


Atmospheric CO2 from 1800
Siple Ice Core Mauna Loa

parts per million

340 320 300 280 260

1800 1850 1900 1950 2000


Soil carbon sequestration as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. Through the use of a variety of improved farming practices, soil carbon stocks can be increased, thereby sequestering carbon that would otherwise be present in the atmosphere as CO2. At the same time, increasing the organic matter content of our agricultural soils would be of enormous benefit for improving the quality and sustainability of our agricultural production systems. Higher organic matter contents are directly tied to soil fertility and crop production capacity. The former Chief of USDA‟s Natural Resource Conservation Service, William Richards, estimates that a percentage point increase in soil organic matter content (e.g., going from 2% to 3% organic matter) translates into a $250/acre increase in the value of Ohio farmland. Conservation farming practices and increased soil organic matter provide other collateral benefits by reducing soil erosion and improving water quality. Economic analyses suggest that soil carbon sequestration is a beneficial and cost effective option for reducing greenhouse gases, particularly over the next 2 to 3 decades while new, less „carbon-intensive‟ energy technologies are introduced. America‟s farmers and ranchers, and society in general, would benefit if reductions in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions due to conservation practices were counted toward national goals. Recent estimates of the potential for U.S. agriculture, using existing technologies, are on the order of 75-200 million metric tons C 1, 2 per year. Based on estimates by the Council of Economic Advisors of the costs for achieving these emission reductions, $14-$23 per ton of carbon, the mitigation potential of agricultural soils represents a value of 1-5 billion dollars per year. Interest in carbon sequestration projects is growing rapidly as witnessed by recent efforts by Canadian and U.S. utility companies to purchase 3 credits on carbon sequestered in Iowa cropland.

Contribution of different conservation practices to carbon sequestration potential in the U.S. (From Lal, Kimble, Follett and Cole. 1998) Acceptance of soil carbon sequestration as an emission offset and its implementation through government programs and/or private markets will require scientifically based quantification and verification methods. Procedures are needed at a variety of scales, ranging from national inventories to estimates for an individual farmer‟s field. Accurate and cost effective accounting methods will be required if carbon trading systems or conservation payments are to be applied to soil carbon sequestration. Furthermore, policies to foster soil carbon sequestration will need to consider economic impacts and government expenditures, as well as the potential collateral effects (both positive and negative) on other greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., nitrous oxide [N2O] and methane [CH4]), nitrate and pesticide leaching, wildlife habitat and soil erosion. Why are other greenhouse gases important? In addition to carbon dioxide, agriculture plays a significant role with respect to two other greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide and methane. Significant amounts of these gases are emitted as a consequence of crop and livestock production. Although these gases occur in the atmosphere at far lower concentrations than CO2, on a moleculeby-molecule basis nitrous oxide and methane are 20-300 times more potent than CO2 in their effects on climate. Thus, these gases have a much greater impact than one might predict based only upon their concentrations, and a little bit of mitigation can go a long way. CASMGS is investigating management options in this arena. CASMGS represents a multi-year, collaborative, team effort to improve the 3

1 Lal, R., J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett, C.V. Cole 1998. The Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect. Ann Arbor Press, 128 p.

2 Bruce, J.P., M. Frome, E. Haites, H. Janzen, R. Lal and K. Paustian. 1998. Carbon Sequestration in Soils. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation vol. 54:382-389.


Des Moines Register, Nov. 14, 1999

scientific basis of using land management practices to increase soil carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide the tools needed for policy assessment, quantification and verification. The team is made up of top U.S. researchers from major U.S. land grant universities and a national laboratory with expertise and active research programs on soil carbon. Participant institutions are: Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, Montana State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, The Texas A & M University System, University of Nebraska and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory C (operated by the Battelle Memorial Institute for the U.S. Department of Energy). Participating scientists have close ties with federal and state agencies, international organizations, agricultural industry and environmental stakeholders and interest groups. Problem Statement Concern is mounting about the rapid buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases and the implications for our climate and environment. Agriculture can help mitigate these problems in a cost-effective and environmentally sound way. Sequestering carbon in soils and reducing emissions of nitrous oxide and methane can be achieved by a variety of improved management practices. Such practices also generate corollary benefits such as increased soil fertility, reduced erosion and increased soil quality. Research and outreach is needed now to enable an effective use of agricultural mitigation options. CASMGS was established to provide this information. More specifically:

strategies is the development of reliable and transparent quantification methods. The availability of such methods is necessary for the inclusion of carbon sequestration as part of national emission reductions and for the implementation of carbon emissions trading or government policies.

Several legislative initiatives are pending in Congress to promote wider adoption of conservation practices in agriculture, including enhancing soil carbon sequestration. To ensure an efficient return on public investment in agricultural conservation, R&D is needed to evaluate „best management practices‟, to quantify the outcome and performance of conservation policies and to develop effective outreach programs for agricultural producers, industry, environmental groups and other stakeholders.

Adoption of carbon sequestration management will depend on economic factors that must be understood before implementing programs. Reliable data and integrated models will be needed to evaluate the economic and environmental costs and benefits of carbon sequestration strategies. A comprehensive program of carbon sequestration will need to include information on associated environmental impacts. Nitrate and pesticide leaching, soil erosion, soil fertility, and emissions of other greenhouse gases (N2O, CH4) are key indicators to be assessed.

As a signatory of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) the US is obligated to conduct annual inventories of all major greenhouse gases. The development of accurate and defensible inventories of net greenhouse gas emissions will require extensive work on databases (e.g., climate, soil, land use and management), state-of-theart measurements and the use of computer models.

Meaningful participation by developing countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be enhanced through their ability to implement carbon sequestration strategies. Most importantly, many of these countries suffer greatly from soil degradation and unsustainable land use practices and the adoption of practices to increase soil carbon would help to reverse these negative trends. Sequestration of carbon in degraded soils can contribute to recovery of their productivity while mitigating climatic change. Goals and Objectives The overall goal of our consortium is to provide the tools and information needed to successfully implement soil carbon sequestration programs so that we may lower the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, while providing income and

International agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are being developed and many industries are exploring early actions, including carbon sequestration, to reduce emissions. Key to the implementation of carbon sequestration 4

incentives to farmers and improving the soil. Such benefits include an increased and stable agricultural production and an overall reduction of soil erosion and pollution by agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. To achieve this goal the Consortium will:

CASMGS accomplishments During its first full year of operation, CASMGS has many significant accomplishments, including:

 Conduct research to improve understanding of
basic processes and mechanisms controlling soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions.

 Briefing Congress and Federal agencies on
agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation, including testimony to Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Energy and Natural Resources; Environment and Public Works.

 Evaluate and make recommendations for
„best management practices‟ to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from soils, in partnership with USDA and other federal, state and private entities.

 Producing national soil C inventories for
inclusion in the US national greenhouse gas inventory reporting.

 Predict and assess carbon sequestration and
greenhouse gas emissions, provide field and farm-level decisions support tools and evaluate alternative national economic and policy strategies using integrated models. These models will provide insights on the impacts of mitigation programs on crop production potential, food security and environmental quality.

 Providing information for US climate change
negotiators for COP and SUBSTA meetings under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

 Participating with domestic (EPA, DOE,
USDA, USAID) and international agencies (European commission, FAO, UNDP) in studies to increase understanding of agriculturally based mitigation options and policies.

 Provide measurement and monitoring tools for
quantifying and verifying soil carbon sequestration rates and greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions. This research will support the development of national-level monitoring network.

 Preparing a report on agriculture‟s role in
greenhouse gas mitigation for the Council on Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).

 Helping to organize and participating in
several national and international meetings on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation, involving agricultural producers, commodity groups and energy industries.

 Provide a standing capability to meet the
short-term needs of Federal agencies, Congress and the White House, for information, data and analysis on issues relating to soil carbon sequestration and soil greenhouse gas emissions.

 Providing assessments of the technical
potential and economic efficiency of carbon sequestration practices.

 Provide information to each of the following
stakeholder groups: policy makers, agricultural sector, energy and transportation industries, the scientific community and the general public, through annual and special reports, scientific and trade journals, popular publications and an Internet website ( The Consortium will participate in the transfer to and adoption of technology by other countries for quantifying and verifying carbon sequestration rates

 Publishing numerous articles in technical
journals and popular press on carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. Consortium research capabilities The Consortium brings together internationally recognized researchers and institutions in the fields of soil carbon dynamics, soil-derived greenhouse gases, soil erosion, water quality, computer modeling, resource data analysis, agricultural resource economics and integrated 5

assessment. Consortium members at Colorado State University are leaders in measuring and modeling soil carbon and evaluating the impacts of agricultural management on carbon sequestration. CSU researchers have served as Lead Authors on current and previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports and have led the development of the soils components of the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. They are the developers of the Century ecosystem model, which is one of the most widely used models of soil carbon and nutrient cycling, world-wide. Previous and ongoing research activities include basic studies of soil organic matter formation and cycling, analysis of soil carbon changes with different agricultural practices, field measurement and modeling of CO2, N2O and CH4 flux from soils, and modeling of soil carbon dynamics in agricultural, grassland and forest systems. They are collaborating on soil carbon research and modeling in Canada and in developing countries. They are collaborating in combining economic models with ecosystem and soil carbon models to produce economic and environmental assessments of soil carbon sequestration potential. Research is being conducted in close collaboration with several Federal Agencies, including USDA‟s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Economic Research Service (ERS) and the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University is the nation's leading agricultural policy research center. CARD researchers develop economic and environmental estimates for use by Congress and others. The economic model of the agricultural sector, estimated jointly with the University of Missouri, feeds economic variables into the CARD environmental baseline modeling system to track environmental progress in agriculture. CARD researchers have expertise in the analysis of agricultural and environmental policy options at the watershed, regional and national levels. CARD is a leader in the integration of agricultural resource databases with environmental computer models. Its integrated modeling system is used to estimate the effects of changes in land use and agricultural management practices on indicators of economic and environmental health. Consortium members located at Kansas State University are focusing on soil carbon processes in tallgrass prairie and agricultural

ecosystems. Strengths include study of the dynamics of carbon exchange between the surface and the atmosphere in terrestrial ecosystems; microbial processing of carbon in soil and related impacts on N cycling; and system research of crop (grassland) and soil management on soil carbon. Several field studies conducted by K-State Research and Extension provide the opportunity to estimate the impact of soil and crop management practices on soil carbon cycling and sequestration in agricultural and native grassland systems. We have shown that grasslands in Kansas have the capacity to sequester additional carbon under elevated CO2. The scientists have access to several long-term tillage, residue management, and rotation studies in agricultural systems and grassland studies of burning, grazing, and fertility effects as well as prairie restorations or fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. The objectives of Kansas State group are to 1) determine management and conservation impacts on carbon cycling and storage in grazing lands; 2) evaluate tillage, rotations and residue management on soil carbon, and 3) determine the flux and internal cycling of C in agricultural and grassland systems. Consortium members at Michigan State University represent a well integrated group of internationally recognized researchers and extension leaders in a wide range of disciplines that include agricultural ecology, spatial analysis, agronomy, soil science, biogeochemistry, sociology and extension. Relevant expertise includes the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and calculation of relative global climate forcing by soil emissions for agricultural, successional and forested systems. Related biogeochemical studies allow the measurement of subsurface carbon movement to geological horizons and other landscape components such as lakes and streams. The role of plant growth, roots and soil physical parameters is investigated relative to expected cropping practices in future climate change scenarios. Soil organic matter investigations include the role of cations and nitrogen in carbon sequestration in agricultural and forested ecosystems. The spatial analysis and modeling group has excellent databases and expertise in investigating the role of weather, pests, and agricultural practices on crop production, soils and other ecological properties at the regional scale. The influence of humansocietal controls on decision-making at farm, local, state and national scales are integrated into both the research and outreach activities of Consortium scientists. Consortium members at Montana State 6

University include faculty from the Agricultural Economics and Economics Department, the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department, and the Extension Service. The agricultural economists at Montana State University are leaders in research on the economic potential for sequestering soil carbon and mitigation of greenhouse gases. Their research has focused on the development of site-specific economic production models for integration with biophysical models to assess the impacts and efficiency of alternative policies for sequestering carbon. This integrated assessment methodology builds upon a nationally recognized research agenda in the area of climate change and carbon sequestration through a five-year collaboration with ecologists and soil scientists at Colorado State University and University of Nebraska. This collaboration has shown that the efficiency of carbon sequestration is sensitive to the policy design and to the site-specific characteristics of the land. In addition to the integrated assessment research, the soil scientists at Montana State have been conducting pilot studies of building and measuring soil carbon through the use of alternative tillage and cropping practices. The scientists have access to historical records of tillage and crop rotation as a result of high levels of participation in the Conservation Reserve Program and previous cropping practices surveys. Their research on measuring soil carbon is being conducted in collaboration with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the EPA, and the Montana Carbon Offset Coalition, a nonprofit coalition to provide information to stakeholders on market-based carbon sequestration programs. In addition, they are collaborating with scientists in Saskatchewan who are researching soil carbon increases in the Canadian prairies. Participants at Ohio State University, working in close collaboration with USDA‟s Natural Resources Conservation Service/National Soil Survey Center (Lincoln, NE) and USDA‟s Agricultural Research Service (at Fort Collins, CO) conduct broad-based data synthesis, evaluation and field studies on the dynamics of soil organic and inorganic carbon, focusing on the impact of human activities. They have provided the leadership for numerous books and scientific papers on soil carbon sequestration in the U.S. and internationally. Their recent book "The Potential for U.S. Cropland to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect" is acknowledged as the most extensive analysis to date. Studies include basic research on soil carbon cycling, the impacts of management on soil 7

carbon sequestration, the role of soil erosion, studies on other greenhouse gases (methane and nitrous oxide), and extensive field and laboratory studies on carbon stocks and carbon storage processes in grazing land, cropland, and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land. Research collaboration and other interactions are extensive with other federal and state agencies, universities, international organizations, and individuals. Consortium members at Purdue University are focusing on soil carbon processes with different crop rotation and tillage practices. Longterm field studies conducted by Purdue staff have provided an opportunity to estimate the impact of management practices on carbon sequestration and carbon and nitrogen cycling in agricultural systems. The scientists have access to several long-term tillage, residue management, and rotation studies as well as a series of field scale drainage lysimeters. The soils above the drainage lysimeters are managed with different cropping systems including prairie and manure applications, making this site particularly useful for assessing losses of inorganic and organic carbon to leaching. The basic sciences programs at Purdue are investigating the stability and nature of carbon in soil. We are advancing the knowledge of the carbon sequestration process in soils by employing molecular and bulk spectroscopic techniques to track the fate of major biopolymers (e.g lignin, chitin, etc) in natural field plots and laboratory degradation experiments. Other basic sciences groups are evaluating plant genomics and lignin formation with an eye towards plant modification. Purdue works in collaboration with the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) allowing for a rapid transfer of information to end-users. Participants from the Texas A & M University System include researchers at the Blackland Research Center (BRC), Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Department of Agricultural Economics and Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management. The Blackland Research Center staff focus on crop and environmental simulation modeling. EPIC, developed at the Blacklands, is widely used by other researchers and by a variety of federal (USDA-NRCS, USDAERS, U.S.EPA) and state agencies for estimating soil erosion, water quality, soil nutrient dynamics, yields and economics for different agricultural management systems and policy scenarios. Tools estimating pesticide runoff and leaching loss, incorporating Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are currently used in several state water plans. The Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

has conducted research on managed and natural ecosystems across Texas, elucidating the impact of conservation tillage, crop species, intensity of cropping, and fertilization on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. Studies of the movement of soil inorganic carbon into groundwater have provided comparative estimates of long-term carbon sequestration by organic and inorganic modes in Texas and Ohio. These foundational studies provide the framework for development of more precise carbon sequestration models under diverse soil, climate, and crop management systems. The Department of Agricultural Economics and the BRC have worked together to connect physical models to economic models for analysis of economic impacts and have devoted substantial effort to the investigation of the impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation on agriculture. Faculty there and at Iowa State and Colorado State are working together to place soil sequestration within the total array of agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation options including tree planting, and management of fertilization, cattle feeding, animal waste and rice cultivation. The Department maintains both a US-wide agricultural sector model (ASM) and an agriculture/forestry sector land use model (FASOM), which have been repeatedly used in government-sponsored greenhouse gas mitigation studies. The Texas Institute of Applied Environmental Research has worked closely with CARD and the BRC to analyze the impacts of agricultural and environmental policy on the environment and the agricultural economy. The Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management has studied grazing and fire effects on soil carbon and developed decision tools to estimate their impacts on rangeland productivity and health. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln participants have a long history of conducting field measurements and modeling in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. They have successfully employed micrometeorological techniques to measure ecosystem-level carbon exchange, gas exchange techniques to quantify environmental influences on leaf-level physiology, and agrometeorological techniques to measure soil water balance in a variety of agricultural crops and grasslands. There are several ongoing and long-term collaborative research projects related to sustainable agriculture (e.g., conservation tillage, crop rotation, biofuel alternatives) in subhumid eastern and semi-arid western Nebraska. Improved crop and soil monitoring, and more efficient water application have been combined with irrigation decision making to optimize water use and protect water quality. The USDA-ARS Soil 8

and Water Conservation research unit has provided national and international leadership in assessment of tillage, plant and animal residues, and cropping management effects on the quality of essential soil, water, and air resources. With the recent addition of faculty members, UNL, in collaboration with Colorado State and Montana State are leading an integrated analysis of the impacts of climate and land use on the potential for carbon sequestration and economic impacts across the Central and Southeastern U.S. agricultural and forest lands. Consortium members at Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are leaders in environmental modeling and integrated assessment research, including evaluation of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies across all sectors of the economy. They have been active in IPCC efforts to assess agricultural sources and sinks for greenhouse gases, have organized scientific conferences to explore research needs, and have participated in soil carbon sequestration research and implementation programs in Canada and Mexico. PNNL has conducted research on the technology implications of carbon management and have explored how soil carbon can be integrated into a larger strategy to control the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Researchers have found that soil sequestration can be worth from tens of billions to hundreds of billions of dollars to society worldwide. Tasks CASMGS is undertaking research and outreach in five major task areas: I. Basic research on processes and mechanisms of soil C sequestration

1. Understanding of processes controlling soil C transformations and stabilization.  Manipulation of soil biochemistry and enzymology.  Analyzing the role of soil structure in sequestering carbon.  Applying advanced techniques to track the fate of specific C compounds. 2. Enhancement of carbon sequestering capacity.  Manipulation of the capacity of degraded lands to sequester carbon.  Manipulation of carbon allocation patterns of crops.  Manipulation of plant chemistry to enhance stabilization of plant residues.

II. Development and assessment of best management practices (BMP) 1. Partnerships with Federal, State and private organizations in defining and assessing BMPs. 2. Compiling existing long-term field data on soil carbon changes for use in model validation.  Coordinate new sampling of appropriate sites to develop a database on soil carbon changes.  Organize associated information on productivity, management history and other factors. 3. Economic assessments of BMPs .  Economic feasibility of adopting new technologies  Efficiency and comparative cost estimates of sequestering soil C for different policies, locations, and production practices.  Co-benefits and co-costs of carbon sequestration, including full accounting of changes in carbon equivalent emissions.


Prediction and assessment of sequestration and GHG emissions


1. Field-scale decision-support planning tool and models.  Quantify/predict soil carbon sequestration rates and potentials and N2O and CH4 emissions.  Evaluate alternative management strategies with respect to net returns or other criteria. 2. Farm-level planning tool and models.  Full greenhouse gas accounting, with inclusion of livestock operations.  Analyze impacts of mitigation practices on farm level net returns.  Evaluate environmental co-benefits/cocosts at farm level.  Integrate with the field-scale model into a mitigation “tool kit”. 3. Regional and National assessments.  Analysis of impacts of carbon sequestration policies on the agricultural economy.  Quantification of economic and biophysical uncertainties and geographic variability.  Evaluation of economic and environmental tradeoffs for policy options.  Evaluation of monitoring and transaction costs.  Evaluation of environmental cobenefits/co-costs. 4. National level inventories of greenhouse gas emissions.  Improved estimates for annual inventories.  Advanced design for inventory methods with automated data retrieval and calculations.  Development and testing of inventory approaches for application in other countries.



Measurement and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and emission reductions

V. Outreach and technology transfer. 1. Providing information to stakeholders.  Annual reports and papers.  Meetings and symposia.  Software and documentation.  Scientific and trade journal publications.  Popular press and multi-media publications.  Internet website. 2. Documentation and distribution of analytical tools.  Models and data protocols for national inventories.  Models and data protocols for farm-level quantification of carbon sequestration.  Models for linked environmental / economic appraisal of sequestration options. 3. Collaboration with scientists, economists and policy analysts in other countries.  Continued involvement in IPCC activities.  Participation in pilot projects in developing countries for testing inventory methodology and carbon sequestration potential.

1. Field-scale measurement programs that enable comparison of methods for estimating carbon sequestration, N2O emissions and CH4 uptake under specific climate-soil-management conditions. 2. Design of integrated mechanisms to monitor carbon sequestration and net GHG emissions.  Evaluate existing models and inventory procedures.  Test aggregation procedures across spatial and temporal scales using data and models.  Investigate and develop the use of remotely sensed data as inputs to measurement and monitoring systems. 3. Review existing contracts for obtaining environmental services and investigate feasible designs for soil carbon contracts in major agricultural regions of the U.S. 4. Develop a spatial hierarchy (field to region) for which soil carbon measurement methods could be applied. 5. Partner with USDA, other Federal and state agencies to establish a nationwide monitoring network.  Periodic measurement of carbon stocks and net changes in stocks.  Combine with flux measurements to estimate carbon sequestration and net GHG emissions.  Use in verifying model-based estimates of carbon sequestration rates.  Determine uncertainty limits in carbon sequestration estimates.


Management and Organization Project management is carried out by an Executive Committee consisting of a representative from each of the main participating institutions (Colorado State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Michigan State, Montana State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas A & M and Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory). The members of this committee represent all the activities of their respective institutions. Executive Committee members also function as Task Leaders for the major research program elements within CASMGS. A Scientific Advisory Committee, consisting of subject-matter experts from universities outside of CASMGS, provides peer-review of Consortium research. A Stakeholder Committee is in the process of being formed and will consist of representatives from federal agencies (e.g., USDA, EPA, DOE), congressional, farm enterprise, industrial and environmental stakeholders, providing additional guidance for the Consortium. The Advisory Committees will meet annually with the CASMGS Executive Committee to assess progress and suggest priorities for the coming year. A five-year action plan will be updated every year, including both shortand long-term goals. The Executive Committee will discuss and decide on the priorities presented by the Advisory Committees. Monthly video or teleconferences are held by the Executive Committee to facilitate coordination and assess progress. Budget Explanation Personnel costs make up the largest budget category, since much of the activities involve the work of researchers, programmers, data analysts, GIS specialists and other support staff, utilizing the multi-millions of dollars worth of existing information. Funds are also needed for travel for Executive Committee meetings, national and international scientific and technical meetings and field travel. Funding is needed for scientific and technical workshops, regional and national meetings with stakeholders, and regional- and national-level training activities. Equipment needs include computers, data servers and field sampling equipment. Funds for supplies include laboratory and analytical supplies as well as data acquisition costs such as remote-sensing imagery. Funds are needed for thousands of laboratory analyses of samples from the field-monitoring network. Publication, communication and computer network support include costs for the production and distribution of reports and papers to stakeholders, book and multimedia publications, Internet website support, software documentation and distribution, electronic conferencing and communication among consortium members and with stakeholders. Proposed distribution by activity and year
Category Personnel Equipment Travel Supplies Laboratory analyses Training Workshops/Symposia Publ./Comm./Network Total Direct Costs Indirect Costs Total Total Federal Funds
4 5

Year 1 5,900,000 705,000 150,000 400,000 220,000 50,000 130,000 300,000 7,855,000 2,145,000 1,072,500 11,072,500 10,000,000

Year 2 6,540,000 302,000 160,000 200,000 230,000 50,000 80,000 200,000 7,762,000 2,238,000 1,119,000 11,119,000 10,000,000

Year 3 6,710,000 107,000 170,000 200,000 240,000 50,000 30,000 210,000 7,717,000 2,283,000 1,141,500 11,141,500 10,000,000

Year 4 6,630,000 107,000 180,000 200,000 250,000 100,000 30,000 220,000 7,717,000 2,283,000 1,141,500 11,141500 10,000,000

Year 5 6,680,000 0 190,000 100,000 260,000 100,000 130,000 232,310 7,692,310 2,307,690 1,153,845 11,153,845 10,000,000

Total 32,460,000 1,221,000 850,000 1,100,000 1,200,000 350,000 400,000 1,162,310 38,743,310 11,256,690 5,628,345 55,628,345 50,000,000

University Cost Share

4 5

Based on average of 30% of the modified total direct cost Based on 15% of modified total direct cost


Results from Current Research CASMGS is currently in it‟s first full-year of operation with pilot funding ($335,000) in FY01, through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The current tasks are centered on synthesis and enhancement of ongoing research within the consortium. Detailed work plans for the FY02 funding ($15 million), through US Department of Agriculture, are being formulated. A new website providing background on CASMGS can be viewed at These initial CASMGS activities build on previous and ongoing research programs of CASMGS investigators, with funding from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, EPA and the National Science Foundation. CASMGS participants at Colorado State University and USDA/ARS in Ft. Collins have estimated current CO2 emissions and sinks from U.S. agricultural soils, based on the most recent National Resource Inventory statistics for 1997, using the IPCC guidelines for national inventories. These results have been incorporated in the national inventory of greenhouse gases compiled by EPA and were used as part of the US 6,7 submission to climate negotiations in The Hague in November 2000. Estimates of regional carbon 8,9 sequestration rates and potentials have been compiled using the IPCC methodology. The Century model has also been used to evaluate current levels of carbon storage within the conterminous US as part of the 10 National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change . These efforts are currently being extended to evaluate continental carbon fluxes for the past three decades, in conjunction with atmospheric processes, with funding from the National Science Foundation. State-level assessments of 11,12 carbon sequestration rates and potentials have been completed for Iowa and Indiana, using the Century model, and are underway for other states in collaboration with USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service. As part of this effort a computer model (CSTORE) is being developed for use in forecasting and management decision-making when implementing carbon-sequestering practices at the farm level. In collaboration with USDA’s Economic Research Service, the sensitivity of carbon sequestration potentials to 13 constraints on management adoption rates is being analyzed. CASMGS participants at Montana State University, Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska have assessed economics of carbon 14 sequestration in agricultural lands of the Northern Great Plains. Results indicate that changes from cropfallow to continuous cropping of grains could sequester 12 million tons of carbon in Montana at a cost that would be competitive with non-agricultural sources of carbon reduction. Other results show that the cost of sequestering carbon is sensitive to the design of government policies or private contracts, the payment levels, 15 and the opportunity costs to producers of changing their production practices. These results are important to the design of future policies to sequester soil carbon from changing agricultural practices and land use. A version of the Century ecosystem model, developed in collaboration between CASMGS participants at Colorado State University and the Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit of ARS, which can estimate daily fluxes of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane from agricultural grassland and forest soils (DAYCENT) 16,17 has been developed and tested against field data and compared with other trace gas flux models. The

Eve, M.D., K. Paustian, R. Follett, and E.T. Elliott. 2001. A preliminary CO2 inventory for U.S. cropland soils. In: R. Lal and K.McSweeney (eds.) "Soil Management for Enhancing Carbon Sequestration," SSSA Special Publication 57, pp. 51-65, Madison, WI 7 Eve M.D., K. Paustian, R. Follett and E.T. Elliott. 2001. A National Inventory of Changes in Soil Carbon from National Resources Inventory Data.” In: R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett, and B.A. Stewart (eds.) Assessment Methods for Soil Carbon. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pp 593-610. 8 Eve, M.D., M. Sperow, K. Howerton, K. Paustian, R. F. Follett. 2002. Predicted impact of management changes on soil carbon storage for each cropland region of the conterminous U.S. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation (in press). 9 Sperow, M., M. D. Eve and K. Paustian. Potential soil C sequestration on US agricultural soils. Climatic Change (in press). 10 Schimel,D.S., J. Melillo, H. Tian, A.D. McGuire, D.W. Kicklighter, T. Kittel, N. Rosenbloom, S.W. Running, P. Thornton, D.S. Ojima, W.J. Parton, R. Kelly, M. Sykes, R. Neilson, and B. Rizzo. The contribution of increasing CO2 and climate to carbon storage by natural and agricultural ecosystems of the US 1980-1993. Science (in press) 11 Paustian, K. J. Brenner, K. Killian, J. Cipra, S. Williams, M. Eve, E. T. Kautza and G. Bluhm. 2001. State-level analyses of C sequestration in agricultural soils. Advances in Soil Science (in press). 12 Brenner, J., K. Paustian, K. Killian, J. Cipra, B. Dudek, G. Bluhm and T. Kautza. 2000. Analysis and reporting of carbon sequestration and greenhouse gases for conservation districts in Iowa. Advances in Soil Science (in press). 13 Sperow, M, R.M. House, K. Paustian, J. Lewandrowski, H. McDowell, M. Peters, E.T. Elliott, C.V. Cole, G. Bluhm. 2000. Advances in Soil Science (in press) 14 Antle J.M., S.M. Capalbo, S. Mooney, E.T. Elliott and K. Paustian. Economic Analysis of Agricultural Soil Carbon Sequestration: An Integrated Assessment Approach. Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics (in press). 15 Antle, J.A., S. M. Capalbo, S.Mooney, E. Elliot and K. Paustian. 2001. Spatial Heterogeneity and the Design of Efficient Carbon Sequestration Policies for Agriculture, Journal of Environmental Economics Management (in press). 16 Parton, W.J., M. Hartman, D.S. Ojima and D.S. Schimel. 1998. DAYCENT and its land surface submodel: description and testing. Global and Planetary Change 19:35-48. 17 Frolking, S., A.R. Mosier, D.S. Ojima, C. Li, W.J. Parton, C. Potter, E. Priesack, R. Stengers, C. Hoberbosch, H. Flessa and K. Smith. 1998. Comparison of N2O emissions from soils at three temperate agricultural sites: Simulations of year-round measurements by four models. Nutrient Cycles in Agroecosystems 55:77-105.


model has also been used to study the trade-offs between carbon sequestration and other greenhouse gas 18 emissions for various agricultural management practices. Research on carbon sequestration in pastures in the SE U.S. is ongoing and a global synthesis of data on carbon sequestration rates under grasslands has 19 20,21 been completed. This compliments earlier syntheses of carbon sequestration in agricultural experiments. 22, 23 In addition, fundamental research on the effects of tillage on carbon sequestration is helping to improve models and understanding. CASMGS participants from Ohio State University, together with collaborators from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS), have organized several conferences since 1996 to evaluate: (i) Soil Processes and the Carbon Cycle, (ii) Management of Carbon Sequestration in Soil, (iii) Soil Properties and Their Management for Carbon Sequestration, (iv) Methods for C Analysis, (v) Carbon Sequestration in Grazing Land Soils, and (vi) Agricultural Practices and 24,25 Policies for Carbon Sequestration in Soil. The technology contained in these books is being distributed internationally. Additionally these authors have written books on “The Potential of U.S. Cropland to Sequester 1 Carbon” and “The Potential of U.S. Grazing Lands to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse 26 Effect” . Research by CASMGS participants at the Soil-Plant-Nutrient Research Unit of ARS includes studies of stable carbon isotopes to study rates and processes of carbon sequestration in crop and rangeland 27,28,29 soils. In collaboration with USDA/NRCS, samples have been collected throughout the historic grasslands of the U.S. to determine how soil C is affected by cropping and soil management systems. A regional (across 13 States) study of carbon sequestration rates on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands has been 30 -1 -1 completed. The results show that CRP sequesters about 900 kg C ha yr , a rate at which, under full U.S. enrollment, the CRP alone could offset about 30% of all CO 2 emissions resulting from U.S. agriculture. In addition, much additional basic research is being conducted on soil carbon pools, isotopic methods and 31 standardization, and effects of long-term cropping systems and nitrogen fertilization on soil C sequestration. Work at Michigan State University in conjunction with CASMGS participants at Colorado State University and six other cooperating institutions is establishing the framework to validate and model carbon sequestration in different soils and management systems. Soil carbon (C) can be described as recent or active C that persists during a growing season, slow C that persists for decades and resistant C that is present 32 for centuries to millennia. It is the slow C that must be managed for carbon sequestration. A number of tracer-bioassay techniques are giving very similar results showing that we have meaningful measurements


Parton, W.J. and A.R. Mosier. Use of the DAYCENT Trace Gas Model in Agriculutral Systems. Proceedings from the Second International symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases (NCGG-2) Scientific Understanding, control and implementation, Noordijerhout, The Netherlands, 8-10 September 1999 (in press). 19 Conant, R.T., K. Paustian, E.T. Elliott 2000. Grassland management and conversion into grassland: Effects on soil carbon. Ecological Applications 11:343-355 20 Paul, E.A., K. Paustian, E.T. Elliott and C.V. Cole (eds.). 1997. Soil organic matter in temperate agroecosystems: Long-term Experiments in North America. CRC Press, Boca Raton, 414 p. 21 Paustian, K., E.T. Elliott, M.R. Carter (eds.) 1998. Tillage and Crop Management Impacts on Soil C Storage. Special issue of Soil Tillage Research, vol. 47 22 Six, J. E.T. Elliott, K. Paustian and J.W. Doran. 1998. Aggregation and organic matter accumulation in cultivated and native grassland soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 62:1367-1377. 23 Six, J. E.T. Elliott and K. Paustian. 1999. Aggregate and soil organic matter dynamics under conventional and no-tillage systems. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 63:1350-1358. 24 Lal, R., J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett, and B.A. Stewart (eds.). 1997. Soil Processes and the Carbon Cycle. CRC, Inc. Boca Raton, FL. 609 p. 25 Lal, R., J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett, and B.A. Stewart (eds.). 1997. Management of Carbon Sequestration. CRC, Inc. Boca Raton, FL. 457p. 26 Follett, R.F., J.M. Kimble and R.Lal. 2001. The Potential of U.S. Grazing Lands to Sequester Carbon and Mitigate the Greenhouse Effect. Lewis Publishers. 442 p. 27 Paul, E.A., R.F Follett, S.W. Leavitt, A. Halvorson, G. Peterson, and D. Lyon. 1997. Determination of the pool sizes and dynamics of soil organic matter: Use of carbon dating for Great Plains soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 61:1058-1067. 28 Follett, R.F., E.A. Paul, S.W. Leavitt, A.D. Halvorson, D. Lyon, and G.A. Peterson. 1997. The determination of the soil organic matter pool sizes and dynamics: 13C/12C ratios of Great Plains soils and in wheat-fallow cropping systems. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 61:1068-1077. 29 Amelung, W., W. Zech, X. Zhang, R.F. Follett, H. Tiessen, E. Knox and K. Flach. 1998. Carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur pools in particle-size fractions as influenced by climate. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 62:172-181. 30 Follett, R., S.E. Samson-liebig, J.M. Kimble, E.G. Pruessner, and S.W. Waltman. 2000. Carbon sequestration under the CRP in the historic grassland soils in the USA. In: R. Lal and K.McSweeney (eds.) "Soil Management for Enhancing Carbon sequestration," SSSA Special Publication, Madison, WI, pp 27-40. 31 Follett, R. and E.G. Pruessner. 2000. Interlaboratory carbon isotope measurements on five soils. In: R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett and B.A. Stewart (eds.) "Methods of Assessment of Soil Carbon," CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (in press). 32 Paul, E.A., S.J. Morris, and S. Böhm. 2001. The determination of soil C pool sizes and turnover rates: Biophysical fractionation and tracers. In: Assessment Methods for Soil C Pools. R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, and R.F. Follett (eds.). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Pp. 193-206.


that can be used for field validation of carbon sequestration. Studies on afforestation of agricultural land show great potential for sequestering carbon as well as improving wildlife habitat and reducing pollution. A study of a Michigan reforested site shows 53 years of forest growth sequestered 1.1 tons of carbon per year with two-thirds in the vegetation and one-third in the soils. Long-term measurements of CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions from a variety of crop systems and from successional and native vegetation were used to calculate net global warming potentials of these systems and to identify the specific cropping activities that contributed the most greenhouse warming potential or (conversely) the most mitigation. Conventionally managed annual crops had the highest overall global warming potential (GWP), but the potential could be offset almost entirely by no till management. In both the conventional and no till crops nitrous oxide emissions were the greatest source of GWP. Other contributors were nitrogen fertilizer, agricultural lime, and fuel use. Forage and early 36 successional vegetation (i.e., set aside) were strong mitigators of GWP overall. CASMGS collaborators in the USDA Economic Research Service have applied existing models and peer-reviewed literature to catalogue current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from U.S. agriculture and to 37 project impacts of climate change mitigation policies on U.S. agriculture. Ongoing GHG mitigation research 38 in ERS supported the 1999 USDA analysis of how the Kyoto Protocol would affect U.S. agriculture. ERS researchers participating in CASMGS outlined key policy features (such as emissions permit trading systems, GHG targets, and incentives to encourage land use changes increasing CO2 sequestration) that would likely 39 be a part of either national-level programs or international agreements to reduce GHG emissions. The likely response of U.S. agriculture to such policies, and impacts on crop and livestock commodity acreage, supply, and farm income were identified. CASMGS collaborators at ERS and Colorado State are collaborating to integrate the most up-to-date economic and biophysical modeling systems and apply these new tools to evaluate the performance of a wide range of GHG mitigation policies on U.S. agriculture. At Iowa State University, CASMGS investigators have estimated the expected cost of sequestering carbon in agricultural soils under different government-based and market-based approaches. They found that if all crop producers in the midwestern US adopted conservation tillage, then an additional 14 million metric 40 tonnes of carbon would be sequestered for a cost of around $170 million. CASMGS members at the Texas A & M University System have measured CO2 fluxes using micrometerological techniques to quantify changes in soil and biomass carbon in grassland and cropping 41,42,43,44 systems. Studies were conducted in prairies in North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. Measurements showed that all three grasslands were sequestering carbon, in amounts ranging from 0.9 to 4.9 metric tonnes per hectare per year. The results suggest that these grasslands, which are typical of grassland ecosystems that cover millions of hectares in the Great Plains, are potential sinks for CO2. Similar measurements were taken over three fields dominated by different warm-season grasses (bermudagrass, tallgrass native prairie, and sorghum) at Temple, TX. Measurements showed that the prairie and sorghum fields were in approximate equilibrium for carbon. In contrast, the bermudagrass field was a large sink for carbon. This substantiates other evidence that conversion from continuously cultivated cropland to improved pasture could create a large short-term carbon sink. Several field studies have been conducted by participants in the Dept. of Soil and Crop Sciences demonstrating the effectiveness of conservation tillage in increasing soil organic carbon and various


Paul, E.A., D. Harris, H.P. Collins, U. Schulthess, and G.P. Robertson. 1999. Evolution of CO 2 and soil carbon dynamics in biologically managed, row-crop agroecosystems. Applied Soil Ecology. 11:53-65. 34 Collins, H.P., E.A. Paul, R.L. Blevins, L.G. Bundy, D.R. Christenson, W.A. Dick, D.R. Huggins, D.J. Lyon, S.E. Peters, and R.F. Turco. 1999. Carbon pools and dynamics in Corn Belt agroecosystems. Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 63:584-591. 35 Sollins, P., C. Glassman, E.A. Paul, C. Swanston, K. Lajtha, J. Heil, and E.T. Elliott. 1999. Soil carbon and nitrogen pools and fractions. In: Standard Soil Methods for Long-Term Ecological Research. G.P. Robertson, C.S. Bledsoe, D.C. Coleman, and P. Sollins, (eds.). Oxford University Press, New York, NY. pp. 89-105. 36 Robertson, G.P., E.A. Paul and R.R. Harwood. 2000. Greenhouse gases in intensive agriculture: Contributions of individual gases to the radiative forcing of the atmosphere. Science 289:1922-1925. 37 Lewandrowski, J., H. McDowell, R. House, and M. Peters, "Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Implications of the Kyoto Protocol for U.S. Agriculture and U.S. Agricultural Policy," The World Resource Review, forthcoming 2000, 12 pp. 38 U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1999. Economic Analysis of U.S. Agriculture and the Kyoto Protocol, Office of the Chief Economist, Global Change Program Office, May 1999, 90 pp. 39 McDowell, F.H., J. Lewandrowski, R. House, and M. Peters, "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Buildup: Impacts on Ag-Sector Returns," Agricultural Outlook, Aug. 1999, 5 pp. 40 G. Pautsch and B. Babcock. 1999. Relative Efficiency of Sequestering Carbon in Agricultural Soils Through Second Best Instruments. 3rd Toulouse Conference on Environment and Resource Economics, June 14-16, 1999. 41 Dugas, W.A. and P.C. Mielnick. 2000. Carbon dioxide fluxes over a tallgrass prairie before and after a burn. Science (In Preparation). 42 Mielnick, P.C. and W. Dugas. 1999. Soil CO2 flux in a tall-grass prairie. Soil. Biol. Biochemistry (In Press). 43 Frank, A.B., P.L. Sims, J. A. Bradford, W. A. Dugas, and H.S. Mayeux. 1999. Carbon dioxide fluxes for three Great Plains native grassland ecosystems. Ecology (Submitted). 44 Dugas, W.A., M.L. Heuer, and H.S. Mayeux. 1999. Seasonal carbon dioxide fluxes over coastal bermudagrass, native prairie, and sorghum. Agric. For. Meteorol. 93:121-139.


organic matter fractions . In addition to quantifying organic carbon changes, studies of inorganic carbon dynamics suggest that the flux of inorganic C as biocarbonates into groundwater may represent a significant 48 carbon sink that has been previously underestimated . Researchers in the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management have shown that woody plant encroachment of grasslands significantly alters carbon sequestration, as does frequency of fire. Prescribed burning of mesquite savannas increased carbon 49 by 25% in the upper 20 cm of soil compared to unburned controls. Also, a significant portion (15 to 20%) of total organic carbon was found as highly resistant charcoal. Analysts in the Department of Agricultural 50,51 Economics have investigated a number of agricultural alternatives for greenhouse gas mitigation. In cooperation with Iowa State and Colorado State they are examining the role of soil carbon sequestration in the total array of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts including tillage changes, tree planting, land use change to grasslands, fertilization alternatives, rice cultivation, livestock diet modification, manure management, and direct energy use. This study considers carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. The study‟s economic results will be carried into a detailed environmental analysis using the Iowa State, CARD modeling systems. TAMU economists have also spent substantial time investigating potential aspects of soil sequestration 52 incentive policy design. CASMGS participants at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory co-organized, with the Oak 53,54 Ridge National Laboratory and the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, a workshop to discuss science, monitoring, and policy issues of soil C sequestration. The workshop was held at St. Michaels (MD) in December of 1998 and sponsored by USEPA, USDOE, USDA, Monsanto and NASA. Workshop participants identified research needs on mechanisms of C stabilization and turnover in soil aggregates, landscape effects on C sequestration, use of genetic engineering to enhance plant productivity and C sequestration, environmental impacts of soil C sequestration, and the role of soil C sequestration in controlling desertification. 55 A special issue of Climatic Change reviewing these major topics of soil carbon sequestration is in press. With support from DOE to CSiTE (DOE‟s center for Carbon Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems) and through the CASMGS program, researchers at Univ. of Alberta (Canada), Texas A&M Univ. and PNNL have revised algorithms of the EPIC model to improve the description of carbon and nitrogen transformations as 56 influenced by climate, soil, management, and erosion dynamics. At the same time, researchers at PNNL are working to better understand the role of soils in a larger program of carbon management. The PNNL team 57 has computed the economic value of a successful program of soil carbon capture and sequestration. Researchers at The Ohio State University, USDA and PNNL have assessed the impact of agricultural 58, 59 practices on the transport and fate of soil carbon. University of Alberta and PNNL researchers used a


Franzluebbers, A.J., R.L. Haney, and F.M. Hons, 1999. Relationships of chloroform fumigation-incubation to soil organic matter pools. Soil Biol. Biochem. 31:395-405. 46 Franzluebbers, A.J., R.L. Haney, C.W. Honeycutt, H.H. Schomberg, and F.M. Hons. 2000. Flush of CO2 following rewetting of dried soil relates to active organic pools. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. (In Press). 47 Salinas-Garcia, F.M. Hons, and J.E. Matocha. 1997. Long-term effects of tillage and fertilization on soil organic matter dynamics. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 61:152-159. 48 Drees, L.R., L.P.Wilding, and L.C.Nordt. 2000. Reconstruction of soil inorganic and organic carbon sequestration across broad geoclimatic regions. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication. (In Press). 49 Ansley RJ, Boutton TW, Jariel DM, Kramp BA, Skjemstad JO. 2002. Biogeochemical responses to fire seasonality and frequency in a temperate mixed-grass savanna: Storage and dynamics of soil carbon and nitrogen. Plant and Soil (accepted). 50 McCarl, B.A. and U.Schneider, "Agriculture's Role in a Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation World: An Economic Perspective", Review of Agricultural Economics, 22(1), 134-159, 2000. And McCarl, B.A. and U.Schneider, "Curbing Greenhouse Gases: Agriculture's Role", Choices, First Quarter, 9-12, 1999, and McCarl B.A. and U.A. Schneider, " Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in U.S. Agriculture and Forestry", Science 294:2481-2482. 51 Nordt, L.C., L.P. Wilding and L.R. Drees. 1999. Pedogenic carbonate transformations in leaching soil systems: Implications for the global C cycle. In R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, H. Eswaran and B.A. Stewart (eds.). Global Climate Change and Pedogenic Carbonate. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. pp 43-64. 52 Marland, G., B.A. McCarl, and U. Schneider, "Soil and Carbon Policy and Economics", in Carbon Sequestration in Soils: Science Monitoring and Beyond, Edited By N.J. Rosenberg, R.C. Isaurralde, and E.L. Malone, Battelle Press, Columbus OH, 153-169, 1999. 53 Rosenberg, N.J., R.C. Izaurralde, and E.L. Malone (eds.). 1999. Carbon Sequestration in Soils: Science, Monitoring and Beyond. Battelle Press, Columbus, OH. 201 pp. 54 Izaurralde, R.C., N.J. Rosenberg, and R. Lal. Mitigation of Climatic Change by Soil Carbon Sequestration: Issues of Science, Monitoring and Degraded Lands. Advances in Agronomy 70:1-75. 55 Rosenberg, N.J., and R.C. Izaurralde (eds.). 2001. Carbon sequestration in soils: science, monitoring and beyond. Climatic Change, Special Issue, in press. 56 Izaurralde, R.C., J.R. Williams, W.B. McGill, and N.J. Rosenberg. 2000. Modifications to EPIC to balance treatment of SOM dynamics, soil erosion and tillage. p. 32. In Agronomy Abstracts. ASA, Madison, WI. 57 Dooley, J.J., J.A. Edmonds, and M.A. Wise. 1999. “The Role of Carbon Capture & Sequestration in a Long-Term Technology Strategy of Atmospheric Stabilization” in Eliasson, B., Riemer, P., and Wokaun, A eds. Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies. Pergamon Press. pp. 857-861. Edmonds, J.A., T. Wilson and R. Rosenzweig. 2000. Global Energy Technology Strategy Addressing Climate Change, Battelle, Washington, DC. 58 Hao, Y.L., R. Lal, L.B. Owens, and R.C. Izaurralde. 2000. Soil organic carbon erosion assessment by Cesium-137. p. 451-465 In: R. Lal et al. (eds.) Adv. Soil Sci: Assessment methods for soil C pools. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FLA.


mathematical approach to reconstruct changes in soil carbon observed over half a century. At the PNNL Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, researchers are investigating geochemical mechanisms by which carbon can be retained in soil and sediments. These studies have involved fundamental aspects of carbonate mineral dissolution and growth processes, stoichiometry of CO2 release during calcite precipitation, 61,62 and redox mechanisms involved in the formation of humic materials CASMGS participants at Kansas State University have been studying the impact of C sequestration 63,64,65 potential of tallgrass prairie. Under elevated CO2 the soil contained 6% more C compared with ambient conditions. Greater C concentrations under elevated CO2 than under ambient conditions suggest that the 66,67 tallgrass prairie can sequester carbon in response to rising atmospheric CO2. Carbon flux and soil carbon storage have also been examined in different management strategies of tallgrass prairie and wheat ecosystems in conjunction with University of Nebraska. The participants at Kansas State University have 68 also been evaluating soil carbon with different cultivated agricultural management strategies.



Hao, Y.L., R. Lal, R.C. Izaurralde, J.C. Ritchie, L.B. Owens, D.L. Hothem. 2001. Historic assessment of agricultural impacts on soil organic carbon erosion in an Ohio watershed. Soil Sci. in press. 60 Izaurralde, R.C., W.B. McGill, J.A. Robertson, N.G. Juma, and J.J. Thurston. 2001. Carbon balance of the Breton Classical Plots over half a century. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 65: in press. 61 Lea, A. S., J. E. Amonette, D. R. Baer, and Y. Liang. 2001. Microscopic Effects of Carbonate, Manganese, and Strontium on Calcite Dissolution. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65:369-379. 62 Amonette, J. E., J. A. Capp, A. Lüttge, D. R. Baer, and R. S. Arvidson. 2000. Geochemical Mechanisms in Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration. In Annual Report 1999, Environmental Dynamics and Simulation, PNNL-13206/UC-400. p. 3-23 to 3-27. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 63 Ajwa, H.A., C.W. Rice and D. Sotomayor. 1998. Carbon and nitrogen mineralization in tallgrass prairie and agricultural soil profiles. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 62:942-951. 64 Rice, C.W., and C.E. Owensby. 2001. The Effects of Fire and Grazing Impacts on Soil Carbon in Rangelands. In Follett et al. (ed.) Carbon Sequestration Potential of U.S. Grazing Lands. Lewis Publishers, pp. 323-342. 65 Baer, S.G., C.W. Rice, and J.M. Blair. 2000. Assessment of surface soil quality in fields planted to native grasses with short- and long-term enrollment in the CRP. J. Soil Water Conserv. In Press. 66 Williams, M.A., C.W. Rice, and C.E. Owensby. 2000. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics and microbial activity in tallgrass prairie exposed to elevated CO2 for 8 years. Plant and Soil. (In review). 67 Sotomayor, D., and C.W. Rice. 1999. Soil air CO2 and N20 concentrations in profiles under tallgrass prairie and cultivation. J. Environ. Qual. 28:784-793. 68 Bohm, S.U., C.W. Rice, and A.L. Schlegel. 2000. Soil carbon turnover in residue managed wheat and grain sorghum study. (In review).


LIST OF CONSORTIUM MAIN INVESTIGATORS Colorado State University Keith Paustian - Professor of Soil and Crop Science (Executive Committee) Richard Conant – Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Eugene Kelly – Professor of Soil and Crop Science Dennis Ojima - Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory William Parton - Senior Research Scientist, Professor of Range Ecosystems Science Eldor Paul – Senior Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Gary Peterson – Professor of Soil and Crop Science Johan Six – Research Scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Mark Sperow – Research Associate, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Stephen Ogle – Research Associate, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory Vern Cole – Professor Emeritus of Soil and Crop Science Iowa State University Catherine Kling - Professor of Economics (Executive Committee) Mahdi Al-Kaisi – Assistant Professor of Agronomy Bruce Babcock - Professor of Agricultural Economics/Director of CARD Uwe Schneider - Research Scientist Philip Gassman - Research Scientist Thomas Fenton – Professor of Agronomy Michael Thompson – Associate Professor of Agronomy Jinhua Zhao – Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics Kansas State University Charles Rice - Professor of Agronomy (Executive Committee) John Blair - Professor of Biology Daryl Buchholz – Professor of Natural Resources Jay Ham - Professor of Agronomy Kent McVay - Assistant Professor of Agronomy Clenton Owensby - Professor of Agronomy Scott Staggenborg – Associate Professor of Agronomy Jeffery Williams - Professor of Agricultural Economics Michigan State University Philip Robertson – Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences (Executive Committee) Lawrence Dyer – MSU Extension Stuart Gage – Professor of Entomology and Spatial Analysis Steven Hamilton – Associate Professor of Zoology and Geology Craig Harris – Associate Professor of Sociology Dale Mutch – MSU Extension Nathaniel Ostrom – Associate Professor of Geology David Skole – Professor of Geography Alvin Smucker - Professor of Soil Biophysics Montana State University Susan Capalbo - Professor of Agricultural Economics and Economics (Executive Committee) John Antle - Professor of Agricultural Economics and Economics Richard Engel – Associate Professor of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Duane Griffith – Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics and Economics Perry Miller - Assistant Professor of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Sian Mooney - Research Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics Gerald Nielsen - Professor of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Purdue University Ronald Turco – Professor of Soil Microbiology (Executive Committee) Sylvia Brouder - Associate Professor of Agronomy Bernard Engel – Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Eileen Kladivko - Professor of Agronomy Soil Physics Anthony Vyn - Associate Professor of Agronomy Daniel Towery – Natural Resources Specialist CTIC Timothy Filley - Assistant Professor Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 17

The Ohio State University Rattan Lal - Professor of Natural Resources (Executive Committee) Frank Calhoun - Professor, School of Natural Resources Warren Dick - Professor, School of Natural Resources Serita Frey - Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources Pat Hatcher - Professor of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry Tom Koontz - Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources Brian Slater - Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources Brent Sohngen – Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics Texas A & M University System Neville Clark – Professor (Executive Committee) Tom Boutton – Professor, Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management James Heilman – Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Frank Hons - Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences Bruce McCarl - Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics Jerry Stuth - Professor, Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management Jimmy Williams - Research Scientist and Agricultural Engineer, Blacklands Experiment Station Larry Wilding – Professor, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences University of Nebraska Edward Elliott – Professor & Director, School of Natural Resource Sciences (Executive committee) Timothy Arkebauer – Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy Kenneth Cassman – Professor and Chair, Department of Agronomy Achim Dobermann - Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy Kenneth Hubbard – Professor, School of Natural Resource Sciences Johannes Knops – Assistant Professor, Schools of Biological and Natural Resource Sciences Gary Lynne – Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics Shashi Verma - Professor, School of Natural Resource Sciences Daniel Walters, Professor, Department of Agronomy Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory César Izaurralde - Senior Staff Scientist, Global Climate Change Group (Executive committee) James Amonette - Senior Research Scientist, Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Harvey Bolton - Technical Resource Manager, Biogeochemistry Resources Jae Edmonds - Chief Economist, Global Climate Change Group Blaine Metting – Program Manager Norman Rosenberg - Chief Scientist, Global Climate Change Group Ronald Sands – Senior Economist, Global Climate Change Group USDA collaborating scientists USDA-Agricultural Research Service Ronald F. Follett - Research Leader and Soil Scientist (Ft. Collins, CO) Arvin R. Mosier - Research Chemist (Ft. Collins, CO) John W. Doran - Soil Scientist (Lincoln, NE) USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service John Kimble - Soil Scientist (National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, NE) John Brenner - Agricultural Engineer (Ft. Collins, CO) USDA-Economic Research Service/Resource & Environ. Policy Robert House - Resource Economist (Washington, DC) Carol Jones - Resource Economist (Washington, DC) Jan Lewandrowski - Resource Economist (Washington, DC)


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