System level carbon sequestration by riparian buffer systems as influenced by soil texture, vegetation type and age in southern Ontario

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Vijayakumar, Sowthini
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University of Guelph

The effect of soil texture, vegetation type and age on system level carbon (C) sequestration in eight riparian buffer systems (RBS) in southern Ontario was investigated. Biomass C sequestration was up to three times (247 Mg C ha-1) greater in deciduous buffers than in coniferous buffers (100 Mg C ha-1) regardless soil texture and age. Mature deciduous tree buffers in clay soils had the highest soil organic carbon (SOC - 177.62 ± 6.193 Mg C ha-1) while the young coniferous buffers in loam soil had the lowest (94.71 ± 6.193 Mg C ha-1). SOC sequestration (154 Mg C ha-1) was significantly higher (p<0.05) in mature buffers compared to adjacent agricultural fields (88 Mg C ha-1), irrespective of soil texture and vegetation type. All RBS had ~66% of SOC in the heavy fraction, indicating stable SOC. Soil NH4+-N was the predominant inorganic N source in all RBS.

Agroforestry, Climate change mitigation, Soil organic carbon, Above-ground and below-ground biomass carbon, Soil organic matter fractions