Conversion to perennial vegetation: Quantifying soil water regime, aeration, and implications for enhancing soil resilience to climate change

Project ID: 
E2009-18
Project Description: 
This project will characterize the soil water regime, look at the dynamics of the composition of soil atmosphere, and examine aeration affects on root activity and decomposition of organic matter. The project expands ongoing ISU research at the Comparison of Biofuel Systems (COBS) site.
Project Location: 
Boone
Story
Years of Grant Project: 
3
Total Grant Amt: 
83052
Program(s): 
Date: 
2009
Lead Investigator: 
Robert Horton
Lead Investigator Affiliation: 
ISU Agronomy
Lead Investigator Email: 
Lead Investigator Image: 
Co-investigator(s): 
Thomas Sauer, USDA National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, and Aaron L. Daigh, ISU Agronomy
Abstract: 

Iowa was once awash with native prairie vegetation, and now it is covered with annual crops. This project looked at the different effects these two systems have on Iowa's landscape and natural resource base.

Key Question: 

What are the environmental impacts of corn- and prairie-based systems on soil, water and air?

Answer: 

Results indicate that relative to corn systems, prairie systems reduced soil compaction, decreased soil water drainage, decreased nitrate leaching, decreased soil nitrous oxide emissions, and increased soil carbon dioxide emissions. Overall, the prairie systems had favorable environmental impacts relative to corn systems.

PDF Long Report: 
PDF Short Report: 
Completion Year: 
2011
No Report: 
Quarter: 
3
Special Project: 
Staff Notes: 
<p>Thomas Sauer was formerly the PI</p>