Navigation Links
Payback time for soil carbon from pasture conversion to sugarcane production
Date:7/3/2014

The reduction of soil carbon stock caused by the conversion of pasture areas into sugarcane plantations a very common change in Brazil in recent years may be offset within two or three years of cultivation.

The calculation appears in a study conducted by researchers at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA) of the University of So Paulo (USP) in collaboration with colleagues from the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq), also at USP. The study also included researchers from the Federal Institute of Alagoas (IFAL), the Brazilian Bioethanol Science and Technology Laboratory, the Institut de Recherche pour le Dveloppement in France and Harvard University, Colorado State University and the Shell Technology Center Houston in the United States.

Findings from the project "Soil carbon stocks on land-use change process to sugarcane production in South-Central Brazil," carried out with funding from FAPESP, were described in an article published in the online version of the journal Nature Climate Change.

"The study indicates that the soil carbon balance of pasture areas converted for the cultivation of sugarcane designed for ethanol production is not as negative as originally estimated," said Carlos Clemente Cerri, project coordinator and researcher at CENA.

According to Cerri, soil from pasture areas has a carbon stock whose volume varies only slightly over the years. However, the process of preparing this type of soil for conversion to sugarcane plantations causes part of the carbon stock to be emitted into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2).

In contrast, depending on the type of management, the introduction of sugarcane to pasture areas could compensate for, or even add to, the initial soil carbon stock when the organic matter and plant residue penetrate the ground.

Moreover, the ethanol produced from sugarcane grown in these areas over time ultimately offsets the CO2 emissions that occur during the conversion process because biofuel contributes toward reducing the burning of fossil fuel, explained the researcher.

The researchers conducted measurements and collected 6,000 soil samples from 135 regions in south-central Brazil, which is responsible for more than 90% of Brazil's sugarcane production.

At each of the sites, soil samples were collected from areas of sugarcane cultivation and from other areas to be used as reference. These reference areas included pastures, annual cropland (soybean, sorghum and corn) and Cerrado native vegetation.

According to the researchers, the study findings could contribute toward guiding expansion policies for sugarcane production aimed at producing ethanol to ensure the biofuel's sustainability - Ethanol demand in Brazil is expected to jump from an annual total of 25 million liters to 61.6 billion liters by 2021.

The professor indicated that to reach this number, the area of sugarcane production in Brazil would need to expand from the current 9.7 million hectares to 17 million hectares.

Cerri notes that among the options for reaching the target area, the priority for expansion of production is expected to be the conversion of degraded lands, principally those used as pastures, into sugarcane plantations.

Between 2000 and 2010, three million Brazilian hectares were converted to sugarcane cultivation areas. More than 70% of this land consisted of pastures, and 25% had been used for growing grains, said the study's researchers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Samuel Antenor
samuel@fapesp.br
55-113-838-4381
Fundao de Amparo Pesquisa do Estado de So Paulo
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wind turbine payback
2. Ironing out details of the carbon cycle
3. Clemson scientists: Kudzu can release soil carbon, accelerate global warming
4. Study highlights carbon monoxide hazards on houseboats
5. Boston Colleges Amir Hoveyda receives Italys Eni Award for Hydrocarbons Research
6. US housing policies increase carbon output, Georgia State University research finds
7. A plan to share the carbon budget burden
8. State of wildland fire emissions, carbon, and climate research
9. Multi-million dollar low-carbon investment programs to be coordinated in Europe
10. Vines choke a forests ability to capture carbon, Smithsonian scientists report
11. Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... a leading provider of secure digital communications services, today ... biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in ... facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... market, announces the airing of a new series of commercials ... of March 21 st .  The commercials will air on ... Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ) ... mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new series ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing ... in San Diego to help identify ... United States . The test, designed to help determine ... outdoor, pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Proove Biosciences, Inc. , the commercial and ... McGill University . The partnership is designed to advance research in pain genetics ... patients in pain. With the new agreement, researchers at Proove Biosciences are able to ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... According to a new market ... Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast ... expand at a CAGR of 17.1% from 2016 to ... Metabolomics is the extensive study of small molecules, ... organisms. Together, these small molecules and their interactions in ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... PUNE, India , May 3, 2016 ... Type (DNA Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene ... Chips), End user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), ... 2020" published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is ... 2020 from USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... 03, 2016 , ... Leading CEOs from biotech, pharmaceutical, and ... June 1st at The Four Seasons Hotel Boston. , The Boston CEO Conference ... exclusive access to key decision makers who influence deal making and investment. Attendees ...
Breaking Biology Technology: