Paper: “Effects of Organic Matter Amendments on Net Primary Productivity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Annual Grasslands,” Ecological Applications 23, no. 1 (2013): 46–59

Research Team: Rebecca Ryals and Whendee L. Silver (Ecosystem Science Division, Department of Environment Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley)

Findings: We found that a single (one-time) application of compost doubled forage production (increasing 40–70%) and soil C sequestration (on average 1 ton/hectar) over three years on both coastal (wet) and Sierra Foothill (dry) Mediterranean grassland systems. Compost decomposition provides a slow-release fertilizer to the soils, leading to increases in carbon sequestration and plant production. Net ecosystem C storage increased by 25–70% without including the direct addition of compost C, while compost had no effect on nitrous oxide N20? or CH4 emissions.

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