The Earth has a definite amount of Carbon, which moves from one place and form to the other regularly, and it is what we call a carbon cycle. The carbon cycle is a natural phenomenon that makes life possible on this planet. For instance, plants intake atmospheric carbon-di-oxide as a raw material for photosynthesis to grow their biomass. The Carbon, thus stored, is released into the atmosphere by the respiration process in plants and animals that feed on those plants. The C is also directly released into the soil when plants die off and their biomass decomposes. This latter form of carbon release from dead biomass and its deposition into the ground is the main principle behind carbon sequestration in soil.
Soil carbon sequestration involves the removal of Carbon from the atmosphere and saving it in soil. The process depends primarily on the land management practices such as preventing overgrazing of cattle and tilling, better water management practices and composting. Several factors, however, affect the popularity of soil carbon content as a credit.
What is Soil Carbon Sequestration?
In simple words, soil carbon sequestration happens when plants acquire and store, or “sequester”, the atmospheric carbon dioxide or CO2 in the soil, increasing the quantity of Carbon in soil stocks. The decomposing plant matter, along with its carbon content, becomes a part of the soil for a certain period before it is further disintegrated by microbes, releasing the Carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
Why is Soil Carbon Sequestration Important?
Historically, agriculture has been a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The addition of Carbon into the soil occurs in two different ways and in two various forms. The first one is the more common process involving converting CO2 from the air into Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) in the soil. Plants make food in the presence of sunlight and atmospheric CO2. The food thus produced is converted into sugars (made up of Carbon) stored in the plant’s tissues. Forests trap Carbon in this form for decades or even centuries. However, short-lived farmland crops free Carbon into the soil after they die and decay.
Carbon is also stored in the soil in another form called carbonates, created when atmospheric CO2 directly dissolves in water and is stored in inorganic forms by combining with several minerals like calcium and magnesium. This form of carbon storage can hold the Carbon for thousands of years, as opposed to a few decades by SOCs. However, since the level of SOCs in agroecosystems can be controlled and enhanced by targeted land-management practices, they carry huge potential in increasing farmland productivity and acting as a negative-emission technology that reduces emissions from our atmosphere. If you are looking for soil carbon sequestration experts, SoilOptix can help. Visit https://soiloptix.com/ for a detailed analysis of soil carbon.