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Maintenance of Wildlands Between Agricultural Lands Improve Carbon Storage

Carbon emission control is critical in order to handle climatic changes globally.

However, the expansion of agriculture sites through the devastation of wildlands decreases the carbon content in the soil and biomass.

According to a new study reported in Carbon Balance and Management, the open access journal of BioMed Central, the preservation of wildlands across vineyards has considerably improved the carbon storage. In addition to carbon emission reductions, programs for enhancing carbon storage by expanding biodiversity and plantation will assist to maintain the atmospheric carbon level.

Loss of species diversity and natural habitat may occur due the expansion of vineyard throughout the Mediterranean. A study has been conducted in Northern California with focus on carbon storage and biodiversity at five ranches with a variety of farming techniques and soil types. Ranches having different wildlands, which include lands comprising only five species of trees to lands comprising 18 varieties, ranging from sprouts to grown and closed canopy forest were considered for study.

Majority of carbon was accumulated in the top layer of the soil and the change in carbon content was obvious for aboveground woody biomass, which had 12 times more carbon content than that of vineyards. In total, carbon content of the forest region was 45% higher than that of vineyard. However, variation in carbon content among ranches was mainly based on the type and the number of plants present.

The University of California’s Professor, Louise Jackson, whose team conducted the study, stated that retention of natural wildlands in and among agriculture land can enhance preservation of nutrients, improve pest control, water management and prevent erosion. The study findings revealed that maintenance of wildlands between vineyards increases carbon storage in the soil and woody biomass when compared to strictly farmed site.

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