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Storage of Miscanthus-derived carbon in rhizomes, roots, and soil
- Christensen, Bent T., Lærke, Poul Erik, Jørgensen, Uffe, Kandel, Tanka P., Thomsen, Ingrid K.
- Canadian journal of soil science 2016 v.96 no.4 pp. 354-360
- Miscanthus, carbon, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, energy crops, greenhouse gas emissions, rhizomes, roots, sandy soils, stable isotopes, Denmark
- Compared with annual crops, dedicated perennial bioenergy crops are ascribed additional benefits in terms of reduced greenhouse gas emissions; these benefits include increased carbon (C) storage in soil. We measured Miscanthus-derived C in rhizomes, roots, and 0–100 cm soil beneath three 16-yr-old stands established on sandy soils at two experimental sites in Denmark. Miscanthus C in soil was estimated from changes in the natural abundance of ¹³C. In the 0–20 cm depth, soil C derived from Miscanthus made up to 15–18% of the soil total C. In the 20–50 cm and 50–100 cm depth, Miscanthus C accounted for less than 7% and 5% of the soil total C, respectively. After 16 yr, the total quantity of Miscanthus C in 0–20 cm ranged from 11.9 to 18.2 Mg C ha⁻¹, of which 23–34% was in rhizomes and roots, substantiating their crucial contribution to soil C storage. Future studies should prioritize the seasonal and annual dynamics of C stored in rhizomes and roots, and the fate of these C pools following termination of Miscanthus stands.