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Reassessing the role of grazing lands in carbon - balance estimations : meta - analysis and review

Colaborador(es): Viglizzo, Ernesto F. CONICET. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de La Pampa, Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina. GPS Grupo de Países Productores del Sur. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Universidad Austral. Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina | Ricard, María Florencia. CONICET. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de La Pampa. Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina. Universidad Nacional de La Pampa. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales. La Pampa, Argentina | Taboada, Miguel Angel. CONICET. La Pampa, Argentina. Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de La Pampa. Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina. Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Hurlingham, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Agronomía. Buenos Aires, Argentina | Vázquez Amábile, Gabriel G. Asociación Argentina de Consorcios Regionales de Experimentación Agrícola. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Universidad de La Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias y Forestales. La Plata, Argentina.
ISSN: 0048-9697.Tipo de material: Artículos y capítulos. Recurso electrónico.Tema(s): CARBON BALANCE | SOC SEQUESTRATION | GRAZING LANDS | GHG INVENTORIES | EMISSIONS OFFSET | Recursos en línea: Haga clic para acceso en línea | LINK AL EDITOR En: Science of the Total Environment vol.661, no.15 (2019),p.531-542, grafs., tbls., mapasResumen: Assuming a steady state between carbon (C) gains and losses, greenhouse gases (GHG) inventories that follow a widely used simplified procedure (IPCC Tier 1) tend to underestimate the capacity of soils in grazing - land to sequester C. In this study we compared the C balance reported by (i) national inventories that followed the simplified method (Tier 1) of IPCC (1996/2006), with (ii) an alternative estimation derived from the meta - analysis of science - based, peer-reviewed data. We used the global databases (i) EDGAR 4.2 to get data on GHG emissions due to land conversion and livestock/crop production, and (ii) HYDE 3.1 to obtain historical series on land-use/land cover (LULC). In terms of sequestration, our study was focused on C storage as soil organic carbon (SOC) in rural lands of four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) within the so - called MERCOSUR region. Supported by a large body of scientific evidence, we hypothesized that C gains and losses in grazing lands are not in balance and that C gains tend to be higher than C losses at low livestock densities. We applied a two - way procedure to test our hypothesis: i) a theoretical one based on the annual conversion of belowground biomass into SOC; and ii) an empirical one supported by peer-reviewed data on SOC sequestration. Average figures from both methods were combined with LULC data to reassess the net C balance in the study countries. Our results show that grazing lands generate C surpluses that could not only offset rural emissions, but could also partially or totally offset the emissions of non - rural sectors. The potential of grazing lands to sequester and store soil C should be reconsidered in order to improve assessments in future GHG inventory reports.
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Assuming a steady state between carbon (C) gains and losses, greenhouse gases (GHG) inventories that follow a widely used simplified procedure (IPCC Tier 1) tend to underestimate the capacity of soils in grazing - land to sequester C.
In this study we compared the C balance reported by (i) national inventories that followed the simplified method (Tier 1) of IPCC (1996/2006), with (ii) an alternative estimation derived from the meta - analysis of science - based, peer-reviewed data.
We used the global databases (i) EDGAR 4.2 to get data on GHG emissions due to land conversion and livestock/crop production, and (ii) HYDE 3.1 to obtain historical series on land-use/land cover (LULC).
In terms of sequestration, our study was focused on C storage as soil organic carbon (SOC) in rural lands of four countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) within the so - called MERCOSUR region.
Supported by a large body of scientific evidence, we hypothesized that C gains and losses in grazing lands are not in balance and that C gains tend to be higher than C losses at low livestock densities.
We applied a two - way procedure to test our hypothesis: i) a theoretical one based on the annual conversion of belowground biomass into SOC; and ii) an empirical one supported by peer-reviewed data on SOC sequestration.
Average figures from both methods were combined with LULC data to reassess the net C balance in the study countries.
Our results show that grazing lands generate C surpluses that could not only offset rural emissions, but could also partially or totally offset the emissions of non - rural sectors.
The potential of grazing lands to sequester and store soil C should be reconsidered in order to improve assessments in future GHG inventory reports.

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