Quantification of carbon gains and losses for five tree species in a 25-year-old tree-based intercropping system in southern Ontario, Canada




Wotherspoon, Amy

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation of above- and belowground carbon (C) pools and fluxes of five tree species in a 25-year-old tree-based (TBI) system as compared to an adjacent sole-cropped conventional agricultural system at the University of Guelph’s Agroforestry Research Station (43 16’N 89 26’W) (established 1987). This study compared C found in above- and belowground biomass, soil organic carbon, litterfall, litter decomposition and soil respiration. These components were combined in a C model for comparison of C sequestration potential. In intercropping systems planted with hybrid poplar (Populus spp.), red oak (Quercus rubra), black walnut (Juglans nigra), Norway spruce (Picea abies) and white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), net C sequestration was quantified to be approximately 3.4, 3.0, 2.5, 3.7 and 2.7 t C ha-1 year-1. In comparison, the adjacent sole-cropping system, planted with soybean (Glycine max) was found to have a net C sequestration of –1.4 t C ha-1 year-1.



Carbon, Agroforestry, Intercropping, Soil Organic Carbon, Litterfall, Litter Decomposition, Biomass, Carbon Model, Soil Respiration