Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could grasslands help fight global warming? Scientists dig deep for carbon solution

Date:
June 22, 2010
Source:
Lancaster University
Summary:
New research is being carried out to determine how much carbon is being stored in UK grasslands and find out if it could potentially store even more. Grasslands cover a vast area of the UK, forming the backbone of the livestock industry. However, they also play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, storing vast amounts of carbon beneath them in their soils.

Sampling grasslands in the Yorkshire Dales.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lancaster University

Lake District grasslands could be playing an important role in the fight against global warming.

Grasslands cover a vast area of the UK, forming the backbone of the livestock industry. However, they also play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle, storing vast amounts of carbon beneath them in their soils.

New research is being carried out by scientists from the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, to work out how much carbon is being stored in UK grasslands and find out if it could potentially store even more. This would contribute to climate change mitigation, because carbon locked in soils isn't being released into the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming.

Teams of scientists from the Universities of Lancaster and Reading, and North Wyke Research, have begun sampling a large number of sites across England, including grasslands in the Lake District at Glenridding, Grasmere, Thirlmere, the Newlands Valley and Skiddaw, and in the Yorkshire Dales.

The five year study -- funded by a 650,000 grant from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs -- will improve understanding of how grassland can be managed to protect carbon stored in soil, while performing other key roles such as biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of viable agricultural production.

A major part of the project is a national survey, now underway, to measure how much carbon is actually stored in UK grasslands and how this carbon is affected by the way that grasslands are managed.

Other studies will also test whether enhancing botanical diversity increases carbon storage in grassland soils, as well as bringing additional benefits such as nutrient retention and pollination. This will be mainly tested using a long term plant diversity restoration experiment at Colt Park, Yorkshire Dales, and experiments at Lancaster University.

Professor Richard Bardgett, Lancaster Environment Centre, who leads the project said: "As far as I know, this is the first survey of its kind, and certainly the first to measure carbon in grassland soils to depth. Not only do we have to sample a wide range of grassland types around the country- including many sites in the Yorkshire Dales and Lakes -- but we also have to dig deep, to capture the carbon that can be stored as much as a metre down the soil horizon.

"Soil is often overlooked in the climate change debate, but it has an incredibly important role to play. This is because most carbon on land is stored in the soil, and the loss of the carbon to the atmosphere could exacerbate climate change.

"Ultimately, we want to provide a scientific basis for the management of carbon storage in UK grassland -- helping offset carbon emissions while also providing other potential benefits to the ecosystem."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lancaster University. "Could grasslands help fight global warming? Scientists dig deep for carbon solution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121256.htm>.
Lancaster University. (2010, June 22). Could grasslands help fight global warming? Scientists dig deep for carbon solution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121256.htm
Lancaster University. "Could grasslands help fight global warming? Scientists dig deep for carbon solution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621121256.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins