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Methane Flux in Cropland and Adjacent Riparian Buff ers with Different Vegetation Covers
Journal of Environmental Quality
  • Dong-Gill Kim, Iowa State University
  • Thomas M. Isenhart, Iowa State University
  • Timothy B. Parkin, United States Department of Agriculture
  • Richard C. Schultz, Iowa State University
  • Thomas E. Loynachan, Iowa State University
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While water quality functions of conservation buffers established adjacent to cropped fields have been widely documented, the relative contribution of these re-established perennial plant systems to greenhouse gases has not been completely documented. In the case of methane (CH(4)), these systems have the potential to serve as sinks of CH(4) or may provide favorable conditions for CH(4) production. This study quantifies CH(4) flux from soils of riparian buffer systems comprised of three vegetation types and compares these fluxes with those of adjacent crop fields. We measured soil properties and diel and seasonal variations of CH(4) flux in 7 to 17 yr-old re-established riparian forest buffers, warm-season and cool-season grass filters, and an adjacent crop field located in the Bear Creek watershed in central Iowa. Forest buffer and grass filter soils had significantly lower bulk density (P < 0.01); and higher pH (P < 0.01), total carbon (TC) (P < 0.01), and total nitrogen (TN) (P < 0.01) than crop field soils. There was no significant relationship between CH(4) flux and soil moisture or soil temperature among sites within the range of conditions observed. Cumulative CH(4) flux was -0.80 kg CH(4)-C ha(-1) yr(-1) in the cropped field, -0.46 kg CH(4)-C ha(-1) yr(-1) within the forest buffers, and 0.04 kg CH(4)-C ha(-1) yr(-1) within grass filters, but difference among vegetation covers was not significant. Results suggest that CH(4) flux was not changed after establishment of perennial vegetation on cropped soils, despite significant changes in soil properties.

This article is from Journal of Environmental Quality 39 (2009): 97, doi:10.2134/jeq2008.0408.

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.
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Dong-Gill Kim, Thomas M. Isenhart, Timothy B. Parkin, Richard C. Schultz, et al.. "Methane Flux in Cropland and Adjacent Riparian Buff ers with Different Vegetation Covers" Journal of Environmental Quality Vol. 39 Iss. 1 (2009) p. 97 - 105
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