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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Vinasse application and cessation of burning in sugarcane management can have positive impact on soil carbon stocks

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Zani, Caio F. [1, 2] ; Barneze, Arlete S. [2, 3] ; Robertson, Andy D. [2, 4] ; Keith, Aidan M. [2] ; Cerri, Carlos E. P. [5] ; McNamara, Niall P. [2] ; Cerri, Carlos C. [1, 5]
Total Authors: 7
[1] Univ Sao Paulo, Ctr Energia Nucl Agr, Piracicaba, SP - Brazil
[2] Ctr Ecol & Hydrol, Lancaster Environm Ctr, Lancaster - England
[3] Univ Lancaster, Lancaster Environm Ctr, Soil & Ecosyst Ecol Lab, Lancaster - England
[4] Univ Aberdeen, Inst Biol & Environm Sci, Aberdeen - Scotland
[5] Univ Sao Paulo, Escola Super Agr Luiz de Queiroz, Dept Ciencia Solo, Piracicaba - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 5
Document type: Journal article
Source: PeerJ; v. 6, AUG 7 2018.
Web of Science Citations: 0

Bioenergy crops, such as sugarcane, have the potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through fossil fuel substitution. However, increased sugarcane propagation and recent management changes have raised concerns that these practices may deplete soil carbon (C) stocks, thereby limiting the net greenhouse gas benefit. In this study, we use both a measured and modelled approach to evaluate the impacts of two common sugarcane management practices on soil C sequestration potential in Brazil. We explore how transitions from conventional (mineral fertiliser/burning) to improved (vinasse application/unburned) practices influence soil C stocks in total and in physically fractionated soil down to one metre. Results suggest that vinasse application leads to an accumulation of soil C of 0.55 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1) at 0-30 cm depth and applying unburned management led to gains of similar to 0.7 Mg ha(-1) yr(-1) at 30-60 cm depth. Soil C concentration in the Silt+Clay fraction of topsoil (0-20 cm) showed higher C content in unburned management but it did not differ under vinasse application. The CENTURY model was used to simulate the consequences of management changes beyond the temporal extent of the measurements. Simulations indicated that vinasse was not the key factor driving increases in soil C stocks but its application may be the most readily available practice to prevent the soil C losses under burned management. Furthermore, cessation of burning may increase topsoil C by 40% after similar to 50 years. These are the first data comparing different sugarcane management transitions within a single area. Our findings indicate that both vinasse application and the cessation of burning can play an important role in reducing the time required for sugarcane ethanol production to reach a net C benefit (payback time). (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/12600-2 - Soil carbon stocks evaluation due to management changes on sugarcane production
Grantee:Caio Fernandes Zani
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master
FAPESP's process: 13/24506-0 - Evaluation of soil carbon stocks in response to management changes in sugarcane production
Grantee:Caio Fernandes Zani
Support type: Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree