Proposal Title

Development of Soil Carbon Inventory: Understanding the Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Georgia Southern University Campus

Primary Faculty Mentor’s Name

Subhrajit Saha

Proposal Track

Student

Session Format

Poster

Abstract

Georgia Southern University (GSU) aims to be a great advocate of green-initiatives and sustainable practices. To accomplish the goal, GSU must address this century’s biggest environmental issue – climate change and ensure that proper initiatives are taken for its mitigation management. Sequestration of atmospheric carbon into soil is a major strategy for climate change mitigation that has been recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With a large campus, GSU has great potentials to store high amounts of carbon in its soil and become a carbon sink. Carbon sequestration in soil depends primarily on the land-use, followed by landscape management practices such as fertilizer/compost application, mulching, soil tiling, pruning/harvesting, and removal/deposition of biomass. The major objectives of this GSU Student Sustainability Fee funded project is to, 1) assess the campus soil carbon storage and develop an inventory and a soil carbon map, 2) understand the factors affecting carbon stocking on campus, 3) develop recommendations that will lead to more carbon stocking on campus.

As part of the study, GSU campus has been divided in five land-use categories, managed forest, unmanaged forest, lawn and garden, sports fields, and roadside tree plantings. Soil samples are being collected from two depth classes, 0 – 20 cm and 30 – 50 cm using steel augers and mallets. Soil samples are then dried in Isotemp Oven at 72°C for 48 hours, followed by grinding in a Ball Mill Grinder and sifting to 2 mm sieves. The next step is to analyze the processed soils in Flash 2000 Combustion NC Soil Analyzer to determine the carbon content of the soil. Along with carbon, this instrument analyzes nitrogen by default, thus, we can also calculate the carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio. In addition, bulk density for each land-use system will be calculated to determine volume of carbon in each segment of campus. The information on landscape management practices that influence soil carbon will be collected from GSU Physical Plant Landscape Division and will be incorporated in the study.

Once the chemical analysis is complete, a GIS map of campus soil carbon inventory will be developed. That will show how (and where) the soil carbon is distributed in GSU campus. The next phase will be to compare the land-use and management practices to zonal carbon stocking and identify the factors that result greater carbon sequestration. This will help us to develop strategies and recommendations for relevant authorities to adopt practices that promote soil carbon sequestration on campus, which in turn may make the campus more climate change mitigation friendly.

Keywords

Carbon, Climate Change, Environmental, Map, Mitigation, Soil, Stocking, Storage, Sequestration

Award Consideration

1

Location

Concourse/Atrium

Presentation Year

2014

Start Date

11-15-2014 9:40 AM

End Date

11-15-2014 10:55 AM

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 15th, 9:40 AM Nov 15th, 10:55 AM

Development of Soil Carbon Inventory: Understanding the Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Georgia Southern University Campus

Concourse/Atrium

Georgia Southern University (GSU) aims to be a great advocate of green-initiatives and sustainable practices. To accomplish the goal, GSU must address this century’s biggest environmental issue – climate change and ensure that proper initiatives are taken for its mitigation management. Sequestration of atmospheric carbon into soil is a major strategy for climate change mitigation that has been recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With a large campus, GSU has great potentials to store high amounts of carbon in its soil and become a carbon sink. Carbon sequestration in soil depends primarily on the land-use, followed by landscape management practices such as fertilizer/compost application, mulching, soil tiling, pruning/harvesting, and removal/deposition of biomass. The major objectives of this GSU Student Sustainability Fee funded project is to, 1) assess the campus soil carbon storage and develop an inventory and a soil carbon map, 2) understand the factors affecting carbon stocking on campus, 3) develop recommendations that will lead to more carbon stocking on campus.

As part of the study, GSU campus has been divided in five land-use categories, managed forest, unmanaged forest, lawn and garden, sports fields, and roadside tree plantings. Soil samples are being collected from two depth classes, 0 – 20 cm and 30 – 50 cm using steel augers and mallets. Soil samples are then dried in Isotemp Oven at 72°C for 48 hours, followed by grinding in a Ball Mill Grinder and sifting to 2 mm sieves. The next step is to analyze the processed soils in Flash 2000 Combustion NC Soil Analyzer to determine the carbon content of the soil. Along with carbon, this instrument analyzes nitrogen by default, thus, we can also calculate the carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio. In addition, bulk density for each land-use system will be calculated to determine volume of carbon in each segment of campus. The information on landscape management practices that influence soil carbon will be collected from GSU Physical Plant Landscape Division and will be incorporated in the study.

Once the chemical analysis is complete, a GIS map of campus soil carbon inventory will be developed. That will show how (and where) the soil carbon is distributed in GSU campus. The next phase will be to compare the land-use and management practices to zonal carbon stocking and identify the factors that result greater carbon sequestration. This will help us to develop strategies and recommendations for relevant authorities to adopt practices that promote soil carbon sequestration on campus, which in turn may make the campus more climate change mitigation friendly.