Changes of soil organic carbon stocks and CO2 emissions at the early stages of urban turf grasses’ development

Urbanization coincides with remarkable expansion of turf grasses and their increasing role in environmental processes and functions, including carbon (C) sequestration. Soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in turf grass soils are substantial, however, an intensive soil respiration is also likely. Therefore C sequestration in turf grasses remains uncertain, especially at the early stages after development, when C uptake and CO2 emissions are unbalanced. We analyzed changes in SOC stocks and CO2 emissions at the experimental turf grasses in Moscow megapolis during the three years period after establishment. An influence of the three contrast depths of organic layers (5, 10 and 20 cm) on soil and biomass C and on the ornamental functions of turf grasses was studied. Total CO2 emission from the turf grasses during the observation period exceeded C uptake in grass and root biomass by two to three times. Therefore the turf grasses at the early stages of development are important source of biogenic C. Although the C losses were substantial, CO2 emission decreased and C uptake in biomass increased by the end of the observation period. The highest ratio of sequestered and emitted C was obtained for the thick turf grass soil constructions with a 20 cm organic layer. The highest ornamental value, indicated by the projective cover and sprout density, was also obtained for the thick turf grasses, which is essential to consider for developing the best management practices and sustainable turf grass soil constructions. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Shchepeleva A.S. 1 , Vasenev V.I. 1, 2 , Mazirov I.M.2 , Vasenev I.I. 2 , Prokhorov I.S.2 , Gosse D.D.3
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  • 1 Agrarian-Technological Institute, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Miklukho-Maklaya str., 6, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2 Laboratory of agroecological monitoring, modelling and prediction of ecossytems, Russian State Agricultural University, Timiryazevskaya str., 49, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 3 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gori, 1, Moscow, Russian Federation
C balance; Green lawns; Moscow; Ornamental functions; Soil respiration; Urban soil constructions
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