iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Comparison of soil CO2 emissions between short-rotation coppice poplar stands and arable lands

Chiara Ferré   , Roberto Comolli

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 199-205 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2621-010
Published: Mar 01, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Bioenergy crops are considered to have the potential for climate mitigation and socio-economic benefits owing to their capacity to sequester C and partially replace the consumption of fossil fuels. In this study, the effects on soil respiration of a recent conversion of arable land to high (H) and very high (VH) density short-rotation coppices (SRCs), as well as of agronomic treatments (fertilization with or without irrigation) and lane/row location, were investigated in an alluvial area in Italy. A survey of soil variability was carried out by collecting soil cores (0-60 cm depth) at 67 points to characterize surface and subsurface spatial distributions of pH, organic carbon, nitrogen and carbonates and identify comparable points for monitoring soil respiration. Soil CO2 emissions were monitored over the period April 2010-November 2011 at 27 locations covering the whole study site. The influence of land use (H-SRC, VH-SRC, corn and alfalfa) or treatments on soil respiration was evaluated considering both factors as fixed effects in a linear mixed model. Our results showed that (i) the high variability of soil properties even at small spatial scale has to be considered when selecting points for monitoring soil respiration in the field; (ii) the cumulative soil respiration over the study period at the VH-SRC was lower (1299 ± 30 g C m-2) than in croplands (1600 ±145 g C m-2) and higher along the rows than in the lanes; (iii) no significant differences in soil respiration were found between the H-SRC and corn field; (iv) two years after VH-SRC establishment, agronomic treatments did not appear to influence soil respiration; (v) land-use change affected the vertical soil organic carbon distribution and soil surface temperature, as reflected in soil respiration differences.


Land-use Change, Soil Spatial Variability, Soil Respiration, Short-rotation Coppice, Cropland, Mixed Model

Authors’ address

Chiara Ferré
Roberto Comolli
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Milano Bicocca University, Milan (Italy)

Corresponding author

Chiara Ferré


Ferré C, Comolli R (2018). Comparison of soil CO2 emissions between short-rotation coppice poplar stands and arable lands. iForest 11: 199-205. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2621-010

Academic Editor

Werther Guidi Nissim

Paper history

Received: Sep 02, 2017
Accepted: Dec 14, 2017

First online: Mar 01, 2018
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2018
Publication Time: 2.57 months

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