Publications des agents du Cirad

Cirad

Does carbon storage of pastures contribute to a climate smart cattle farming after Amazonian deforestation. [P76]

Blanfort V., Stahl C., Fontaine S., Picon-Cochard C., Freycon V., Blanc L., Bonal D., Soussana J.F., Lecomte P., Klumpp K.. 2015. In : Building tomorrow¿s research agenda and bridging the science-policy gap. Montpellier : CIRAD, p. 159-159. Climate-Smart Agriculture 2015 : Global Science Conference. 3, 2015-03-16/2015-03-18, Montpellier (France).

More than 15% of Amazon forest has been converted to pastures these last decades. Some authors argued the world's permanent pastures (30 % of total land) could potentially offset up to 4% of the global GHG emissions, having a carbon (C) storage potential equal to 0.5 Mg C.ha-1.yr-1(Schulze et al 2009). Accordingly, pastures are good candidates to increase soil uptake C in soil while ensuring a basic food production. Here we would like to assess the effects of tropical forest conversion to cattle pasture in the French Amazonia (French Guiana), by following the long-term dynamics of soil C stocks of permanent tropical pastures (Brachiaria humidicola) after deforestation from 1970. A soil inventory campaign was performed to analyse soil C and N stocks (to 1 m depth) along a pasture chronosequence of 6 months to 36 years old pastures and 4 native forest sites (total 24 sites). The annual C sequestration potential demonstrated by the chronosequence, was compared with eddy covariance flux measurements on 2 pastures and one native forest. Our study shows that old (= 24 years) tropical pastures resettle the recurrent C storage observed in native forest. These pastures stored between 1.8 ± 0.5 and 5.3 ± 2.1 tC ha-1 yr-1 compared with 2.6 ± 0.5 tC ha-1 yr-1 for the nearby native forest. Our finding show that old tropical pastures accumulate carbon in soil organic matter, particularly in the deep soil layers (0.2-1 m) and without loss of soil fertility. It suggests that such pastures can be exploited by farmers in the long term with appropriate practices (no fire and no overgrazing, but a mixture of grasses and legumes and a grazing rotation plan). Clearly, efforts to curb deforestation are a priority in order to preserve forest biodiversity and C stocks. But it seems now that, in a climate-smart agriculture way, the current challenge is to manage these deforested areas to maintain the productivity of agricultural ecosystems and in the same time their capacity to mitigate GES.

Documents associés

Communication de congrès

Agents Cirad, auteurs de cette publication :