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Mitigation of carbon using Atriplex nummularia revegetation

Walden, L.L.ORCID: 0000-0001-9714-3603, Harper, R.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-0268-2917, Sochacki, S.J., Montagu, K.D., Wocheslander, R., Clarke, M., Ritson, P., Emms, J., Davoren, C.W., Mowat, D., Smith, A.P. and Gupta, V.V.S.R. (2017) Mitigation of carbon using Atriplex nummularia revegetation. Ecological Engineering, 106 . pp. 253-262.

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The use of abandoned or marginally productive land to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions may avoid competition with food and water production. Atriplex nummularia Lindl. is a perennial shrub commonly established for livestock forage on saline land, however, its potential for carbon mitigation has not been systematically evaluated. Similarly, although revegetation is an allowable activity to mitigate carbon within Article 3.4 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Kyoto Protocol, there is a paucity of information on rates of carbon mitigation in soils and biomass through this mechanism. For six sites where A. nummularia had been established across southern Australia four were used to assess changes in soil carbon storage and four were used to develop biomass carbon sequestration estimates. A generalised allometric equation for above and below ground biomass was developed, with a simple crown volume index explaining 81% of the variation in total biomass. There were no significant differences in soil organic carbon storage to 0.3 m or 2 m depth compared to existing agricultural land-use. Between 2.2 and 8.3 Mg C ha−1 or 0.2–0.6 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 was sequestered in above and below ground biomass and this translates to potential total sequestration of 1.1–3.6 Tg C yr−1 on saline land across Australia. Carbon income and forage grazing may thus provide a means to finance the stabilization of compromised land.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Copyright: © Elsevier B.V.
United Nations SDGs: Goal 13: Climate Action
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