Knowledge

The NZAGRC is committed to providing information regarding agricultural greenhouse gases research and overview information.

Below are a list of publications and reports from a variety of sources that may be useful if you're interested in agricultural greenhouse gases. They range from information for those who have a general interest in greenhouse gas mitigation options and technologies through to very specific science papers on the various gases, technologies and mitigation solutions.

Use the left navigation for more specific subsets of publications and information.

Herbicide application during pasture renewal initially increases root turnover and carbon input to soil in perennial ryegrass and white clover pasture

McNally, S. R., Laughlin, D. C., Rutledge, S., Dodd, M. B., Six, J., & Schipper, L. A. (2017). Herbicide application during pasture renewal initially increases root turnover and carbon input to soil in perennial ryegrass and white clover pasture. [Article]. Plant and Soil, 412(1-2), 133-142.

Abstract

Aims
Increasing the input and turnover of root tissue is considered to be one method that may increase carbon (C) inputs and storage in soil. The use of herbicide during pasture renewal (periodic re-sowing of pasture) is expected to increase root inputs and turnover as plants die. The objective of this study was to quantify the short-term impact of pasture renewal on root turnover and C input to soil of ryegrass-clover pastures.

Methods

Pastures were labelled in the field using a 13C isotope pulse labelling method within 1 m2 clear chambers. Five daily labelling events were carried out during one week in paired treatment plots within 3 replicate paddocks. One plot per paddock was sprayed with herbicide and then the pasture was renewed by direct drilling of seed. The 13C of roots and soil (0–100 mm) was measured at regular intervals over an 89-day period.

Results

Herbicide application caused an initial rapid turnover time of 17 days followed by a slower turnover time of 524 days, compared to unsprayed pasture which had a root turnover of 585 days. Faster root turnover following herbicide application resulted in greater cumulative C input to soil over 89 days with approximately double the C input in the sprayed treatment (3238 ± 378 kg C ha−1) compared to the unsprayed treatment (1726 ± 540 kg C ha−1).

Conclusions

The use of glyphosate during pasture renewal increased root turnover and resulted in a greater short term cumulative C input to soil. This study provides the first values of root turnover and C input to soil during a pasture renewal event in New Zealand pasture systems and contributes to the understanding of how pasture roots may influence the soil C input following plant death in grassland systems.

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