Title Carbon sequestration in naturally regenerated loblolly pine by absences

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									 PROGRAM NOTICE DE-FG01-04-31, Notice DE-FG01-05ER05-04
Collaborating laboratory: Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge
                        National Laboratory

                                 COVER SHEET
Institution:         Clemson University
State:               South Carolina

DOE Laboratory:      Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Project Title:       Nutrient Management to Enhance Carbon Sequestration in
                     Southeastern U.S. Forested Ecosystems

Field of Scientific Research: Climate Change Research Division, SC-74; Fossil Energy

Principle Investigator:
Elena A. Mikhailova, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor of Soil Science, Department of
Forestry and Natural Resources, 261 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
29634. Tel. (864) 656-3535. FAX (864) 656-3304. E-mail: eleanam@clemson.edu

Co-PIs:
Christopher J. Post, Ph.D.                                Mark A. Schlautman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of GIS                                Associate Professor of
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources              Chemistry
Clemson University                                        School of the Environment
                                                          Clemson University

Principle DOE Collaborator:
W. M. Post III, Ph.D., Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6038. Tel. (865) 576-3431. FAX (865) 574-2232. E-mail:
postwmiii@ornl.gov

DOE Co-Collaborators:
C. T. Garten, Jr. and P. M. Jardine, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6038.

DOE Office Program Manager:
Dr. Roger C. Dahlman; Climate Change Research Division, SC-74, Department of
Energy. GTN Bldg., 1000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20585-1290. Tel:
(301) 903-4951, Fax: (301) 903-8519. Internet: roger.dahlman@science.doe.gov

C. Lowell Miller; Office of Sequestration, Hydrogen and Clean Coal Fuels; Office of
Fossil Energy; U.S. Department of Energy; Forrestal Building; 1000 Independence
Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20585.
Tel. (301-903-9453). FAX (301-903-2238). E-mail: Lowell.Miller@hq.doe.gov
         The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Consortium for Research on Enhancing Carbon
Sequestration in Terrestrial Ecosystems (CSiTE) was established to perform fundamental
research that will lead to acceptable methods for enhancing carbon (C) sequestration in terrestrial
ecosystems as one component of an overall national carbon management strategy. Although the
ultimate potential for terrestrial C sequestration is unknown because of fundamental gaps in our
understanding of the controls on and interrelationships between C fluxes and storage at the
global, landscape, ecosystem, and molecular/interfacial scales, CSiTE researchers believe that C
sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems during the coming decades can be accomplished most
expeditiously through the use of existing management practices in forests and other ecological
systems. The challenge, then, is determining how to optimize those management practices to
enhance C sequestration in the U.S. and elsewhere without significantly diminishing, and
perhaps even increasing, forest and crop yield and other desirable ecosystem goods and services.
         Impacts of alternative forest nutrient management practices on potential C sequestration
are poorly understood. In the Southeastern U.S., soils in the Piedmont physiographic province
are severely eroded and contain low quantities of soil C as a result of agricultural activity prior to
ca. 1940 (Richter et al., 1999). Conversion of degraded croplands to forests likely has increased
terrestrial carbon stocks (Richter et al., 1999), although the magnitude of this increase and the
impact of forest management on it are unclear because of the lack of long-term data and the high
variability in existing soil and plant data.
         The objective of this proposed study is to investigate the potential for carbon
sequestration in loblolly pine forests to determine which conventional management practices
lead to the most soil carbon sequestration and least adverse environmental impacts at the pedon
and watershed scales. Treatment conditions that will be examined include harvesting during
dormant versus active growing seasons, burning versus no burning after harvest, and natural-
regeneration versus reseeding (i.e., plantation) of the stand. Burning alters nutrient availability
and decomposing roots act as slow-release fertilizer (Van Lear et al., 1990). A plantation site
that received urea, phosphate, or both, 33 years ago (Van Lear, 1980) will be examined for long
term changes in soil carbon, while short-term nutrient treatments (e.g., diammonium phosphate,
urea fertilization) will also be investigated for their ability to enhance potential carbon
sequestration. Additionally, since different soil types will likely exhibit different responses to the
various forest nutrient management options, loblolly pine forests located on different soil types
will be examined. In all cases, appropriate control sites will also be examined to the fullest extent
possible. Data will be used to develop a conceptual model of the impacts of forest nutrient
management on soil carbon sequestration. Results from this project are expected to lead to a
better understanding of alternative methods to enhance carbon sequestration in terrestrial
ecosystems as one component of a carbon management strategy.
         The study will be conducted at two research sites with long-term ecological data: 1) DOE
Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina (33° 15” N, 81° 38” W; 30 m elevation, 120 cm
average annual precipitation; Blanton loamy, siliceous, semiactive, thermic Grossarenic
Paleudult) and 2) Clemson University Experimental Forest in the Upper Piedmont of South
Carolina, Anderson County (34° 32” N, 82° 52” W; 244 m elevation; 130 cm average annual
precipitation; Pacolet fine sandy loam, a typic thermic Kanhapludult).
DOE Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina, Aiken County
Two experimental sites will be sampled. The first includes naturally-regenerated loblolly pine,
plantation-grown loblolly pine, under low-intensity, high-intensity prescribed burning and no
burning with untreated control sites that was initiated in 1989. Second site includes an intensive
biomass plantation where wood debris was incorporated into the top of the soil.
Clemson University Experimental Forest in the Upper Piedmont of South Carolina,
Anderson County is a part of Appalachian Region and consists of 12000 ha eroded farmland
purchased by the Federal government and converted to Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation,
one of the oldest pine plantations in the South (Sorrells, 1984). The study will be based on 12.4
ha pine plantation established by civilian conservation corp in 1938. Treatments include
naturally-regenerated loblolly pine, plantation-grown loblolly pine, and low-intensity prescribed
burning and no burning with untreated control sites.
Research background of the PI: Elena Mikhailova (Ph.D. in Soil Science from Cornell
University) is a young investigator at the level of Research Assistant Professor at Clemson
University. Her current research is on soil C sequestration with partial funding provided by the
National Science Foundation (NSF). She has numerous refereed publications in the U.S. and
international journals such as Soil Science Society of America Journal, Ecological Modelling,
and Soil Science. These publications encompass an in-depth analysis of cultivation effects on
soil organic carbon storage under different land-use, validation and modeling soil organic matter
dynamics using CENTURY model and application of innovative statistical methods to estimate
soil organic carbon storage with depth and error propagation associated with these estimations.
Research background of the key collaborator in the DOE Laboratory: Wilfred Post (Ph.D.
in Ecology from University of Tennessee) is a Senior Researcher at the Environmental Sciences
Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an adjunct Associate Professor of Ecology at the
University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research is focused on global carbon cycle and
terrestrial ecosystem carbon modeling. He has numerous technical and scientific awards, widely-
cited refereed publications in the U.S. and international journals such as Nature, Ecology,
Climatic Change and Energy. Dr. Post is a highly productive scientist with funding provided by
NSF, DOE, USDA and NASA.
Relevance of the proposal to the DOE needs:
1. This research will make a contribution to the ongoing research by the U.S. Department of
Energy (DOE) Consortium for Research on Enhancing Carbon Sequestration in
Terrestrial Ecosystems (CSiTE) through experimental work at the DOE Savannah River Site
near Aiken, South Carolina, Aiken County and the Clemson University Experimental
Forest to understand nutrient management to enhance carbon sequestration in
Southeastern U.S. forested ecosystems.
2. This research will form partnership between Clemson University, South Carolina and the
Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, which are
located in the EPSCoR states.
3. This research will benefit people of the Appalachian Region (part of the Appalachian
Regional Commission) through the development of best nutrient forest management practices
for sustainable economic development and improved environmental quality.
References:
Richter, D.D., D. Markewitz, S.E. Trumbore, and C.G. Wells. 1999. Rapid accumulation and turnover of soil
carbon in re-establishing forest. Nature 400:56-58.
Sorrels, R.T. 1984. The Clemson Experimental Forest – Its first fifty years. Clemson Univ., College of For.,
Recreation Rec., Clemson, SC.
Van Lear, D.H. 1980. Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and lime on the forest floor and growth of pole-size loblolly
pine. Soil Sc. Soc. Am. J. 44:838-841.
Van Lear, D.H., P.R. Kapeluck, and J.B. Waide. 1990. Nitrogen pools and processes during natural regeneration of
loblolly pine. pp. 234-252. In: Proceedings of the 7th North American Forest Soils Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

								
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