Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM
HOW MUCH CARBON CAN LAWNS AND FORESTS ABSORB IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT?
Biological carbon sequestration is one potential method to offset anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. However, the extent to which urban green space and forests can mitigate carbon dioxide emissions is unknown. The purpose of this study was to measure soil organic carbon stocks in urban lawns and forests. We measured organic carbon stocks in soils in an urban forest (Burnet Woods, Cincinnati) and two types of urban lawns (unmanaged [not irrigated or fertilized], and managed [irrigated and fertilized]). Soil samples from managed lawns are of varying ages, in order to estimate soil carbon sequestration rate using the chronosequence approach. Soils were sectioned and weighed for bulk density, then ground finely for uniformity and acidified to eliminate inorganic carbon. Percent carbon in the soil was then measured in a Flash 2000 CN Analyzer. We hypothesized that soil carbon stocks would be much higher in forests than in lawns. We are developing a rate of carbon sequestration in managed soils using known lawn ages and carbon stocks measured in the lab. We expect that overall carbon stocks in managed soils will be less than in unmanaged soils. Establishing the potential for urban green space to absorb carbon dioxide is critical to accurately meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.