Carbon Sequestration in Grazing Land Ecosystems (SL373/SS574)

Figure 1. Simplified carbon cycle diagram. While CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and incorporated into plant tissue via photosynthesis, it can also be re-emitted back to the atmosphere as plant (autotrophic) and soil microbial respiration (heterotrophic). The balance between carbon inputs and outputs determines the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil.Native and improved pastures play an important role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Because of the relatively high sequestration rates and extensive area, grazing land represents an important component of terrestrial carbon dioxide (CO2) offset and is a significant sink for long-term carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation. This 4-page fact sheet contains information for stakeholders, students, scientists, and environmental agencies interested in enhancing ecosystems services provided by grazing lands. Written by Maria Silveira, Ed Hanlon, Mariana Azenha, and Hiran M. da Silva, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, September 2012.