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Quantifying carbon sequestration on saltland pastures in South West Australia

Issango, J.O., Bell, R.W., Waddell, B., Mann, S. and Barrett-Lennard, E.G. (2006) Quantifying carbon sequestration on saltland pastures in South West Australia. In: "Groundbreaking Stuff". Edited by Neil Turner and Tina Acuna. Proceedings of the 13th Australian Agronomy Conference, 10 - 14 September, Perth, Western Australia

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Abstract

The large areas of saltland pastures in South West Australia offer opportunities for carbon (C) sequestration through re-vegetation. An investigation was carried out to quantify the amount of C sequestered in above- and below-ground biomass for wavy leaf saltbush (Atriplex undulata) at a saline site east of Wickepin with average EM38 readings of ~400 mS/m (in the vertical mode).

The preliminary results showed that the above ground and below ground biomass was higher under ungrazed than grazed management systems. The amount of above-ground biomass was 10.8 t/ha (4.01 t carbon /ha) for ungrazed saltbush plants and 3.6 t/ha (1.34 t C/ha) for grazed plants. Similarly, root biomass in the ungrazed system had higher biomass [2.7 t/ha (1.02 t C kg/ha)] compared with the grazed field [1.03 t/ha or 0.38 t C/ha]. Saltbush clearly has the potential to sequester a substantial amount of carbon and further research is underway to determine how amounts of carbon sequestered vary with species, soil type, site salinity and hydrology.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Notes: Poster presentation
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/18954
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