The NZAGRC’s soil carbon programme aims to quantify and then monitor changes in soil carbon stocks over time under different agricultural land uses.
Additionally, the NZAGRC is also examining, alongside the nitrous oxide research programme, how different feed production practices affect soil carbon stocks.
Not all soils have the potential to store more carbon. Identifying soils with the greatest potential will allow efficient targeting of management practices that enhance soil carbon.
Modelling changes in the rates of soil carbon under climate change
A mix of empirical and modelling approaches is being used to map how climate change might influence future soil carbon storage in New Zealand’s pastoral soils.
Work is underway that couples paddock-scale measurements and modelling of different management practices (involving plantain and maize) aiming to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and increase soil carbon.
The science of soil carbon
What is soil carbon, why does it matter, what influences soil carbon stocks in agricultural soils, what do we currently know about soil carbon in New Zealand, and how is it measured?