Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 14, 2009
Publication Date: October 14, 2009
Citation: Prior, S.A., Marble, S.C., Runion, G.B., Torbert III, H.A., Gilliam, C.H. 2009. Strategies for Carbon Sequestration and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Nursery Production Systems [abstract]. USDA-ARS Third Floral and Nursery Crops Researchers' Workshop. Technical Abstract: Over the past three decades, no issue has received more attention from the scientific community than global warming and the possible impacts it may have on the global environment. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, along with those of other trace gases [i.e., methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O)], are widely thought to be the main driving factors behind global warming. Much of the work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and on carbon (C) sequestration has been conducted in row crop and forest systems; however, virtually no work has focused on contribution from sectors of the specialty crop industry such as horticulture. Horticulture is a multi-billion dollar industry; the economic impact of the nursery, greenhouse, and sod industry was $2.8 billion in Alabama in 2008. The nursery industry needs to determine what contributions can be made to reduce the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration via enhanced C sequestration (capture and storage), and to reduce GHG from horticultural systems through changes in production management. The work described here represents initial efforts to address these issues. Studies focus on the effects of growth media on soil CO2 efflux from outplanted horticultural species and on the effects of container size on trace gas emissions. Soil CO2 efflux data, using a novel, continuous Automated Carbon Efflux Systems (ACES) have been collected and are being processed and analyzed. Trace gas emission samples have been collected and are being analyzed using gas chromatography.