Core Project: Carbon Management in Terrestrial Ecosystems (C-MITE)

Summary

This project is designed to directly address one of the fundamental CWC questions, "How is the carbon cycle being disrupted by human activities (e.g., fossil fuel combustion) and how can the cycle be re-balanced to mitigate abrupt climate change (ACC) and its adverse effects?" The overall goal of this core-CWC project is to study processes governing retention, turnover and coupled transport of carbon (C), water and nutrients in soils of terrestrial ecosystems in relation to land use, management and policy designs. A specific objective of the C-MITE is to directly address the question, "How and by how much can the carbon cycle be balanced/off-set to mitigate ACC and its adverse effects through carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems in general and world soils in particular?".

The products and deliverables for this core project include a data bank on the current and potential rates and magnitude of Carbon sink capacity in soils and ecosystems of diverse eco-regions covering biomes ranging from the tropics to artic climates; enhanced knowledge of land use and soil/vegetation management practices which lead to positive ecosystem Carbon budget and mitigate the adverse impacts of ACC by off-setting emissions; development of a specific network of scientists involved in research on Carbon sequestration in soils of managed and natural ecosystems; strengthening of the human resource capacity in measurement, monitoring and verification of Carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems for soil quality assessment and trading of Carbon credits; demonstrating links between Carbon sequestration in soils and other ecosystem services including advancement of food security (especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa), water quality, and biodiversity; and resolving the debate whether soil erosion on continental/river basin scale is a source or sink for atmospheric CO2.

The C-MITE is an inter-disciplinary program implemented at the C-Management and Sequestration Center (C-MASC). The Center is housed in the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) and supported by the OARDC. Since its inception in 2000, C-MASC has been strongly supported by industry (Tata Trust in India, OCDO and AEP in Ohio), the commodity groups (Corn and Soybean Growers Association, Scotts), and federal agencies (e.g., USDA, USDOE, EPA). M-CITE will pursue funding from the Ohio Third Frontier project, NSF, and the Gates Foundation.

Research

Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus
Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus
Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus Collecting carbon-rich soil samples to 1-m depth at urban forests in Columbus

Contacts

Led by Rattan Lal in collaboration with Anne Carey and Berry Lyons.

Rattan Lal
School of Environment and Natural Resources

Berry Lyons
Director
Byrd Polar Research Center