The Effect of Arboricultural Practice of Mulching in Urban Ecosystems and the Carbon Budget

By Thomas Nyatta Legiandenyi.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 3, 2014 $US5.00

Mulching is a significant urban forest and arboricultural practice which regulates soil respiration but its effect on carbon budget remains poorly unstated. This study looked at the contribution of different mulch types to carbon budget of an urban ecosystem. Soil CO2 flux resulting from soil microbial activity in mulch and from root respiration is a significant component of the carbon balance in an urban ecosystem which has not been quantified. The results from the study showed that soil CO2 flux fluctuated significantly during the growing season under different mulch types. The largest increase in soil CO2 flux occurred during the month of May under the mixed hardwood mulch. The soil CO2 flux was not significantly impacted by pine bark and pine needle mulch types during the period under study. There was an increased respiration rate of mulched saplings and microbial activity associated soils. Low soil CO2 flux rate for the no mulch treatment is possibly due to low soil organic matter substrate and low soil surface moisture content. The low CO2 flux in pine needle could be associated with the low rate at which this mulch type is acted upon by the microorganisms. The outcome of the study indicated statistically significant soil CO2 flux and tree canopy net CO2 uptake in response to two urban tree based mulch types (mixed hardwoods and mixed oaks).

Keywords: CO2 Flux, Soil Respiration, Carbon Budget, Urban Ecosystem, Soil Microorganisms

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 5, Issue 3, July 2014, pp.57-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 3, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 399.724KB)).

Thomas Nyatta Legiandenyi

Assistant Area Agent Agriculture and Natural Resources, Southern Agricultural and Research and Extension Center, Southern University A&M College, Lake Providence, LA, USA

Dr. Thomas holds the first Ph.D in urban forestry ever offered from a public university in the state of Louisiana. He has worked as a postdoctoral research associate for two years, where he is now an assistant area agent in agriculture and natural resources at Louisiana State Agriculture Extension Offices in Lake Providence, LA and Oak Grove, LA. He is involved in exploring ways in which the farmers could benefit from the carbon credit. He also regularly teaches and delivers agriculture and natural resource community-based educational programs through a wide variety of teaching methods.

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