Land Use Change and Soil Carbon Storage Potential in Central Spain

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2005

Project Description/Abstract

Increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have been linked to changes in global mean temperature with repercussions for climate systems. Using soil and vegetation as a way to offset CO2 emissions has situated rural land owners as potential customers within the “carbon market” for emissions permits being sold across economic sectors and national borders. The objective of the study is to understand the soil carbon storage potential for rural areas of central Spain, and as a result, the role this area might play in new emission policies. The study will build upon previous research in semi-arid central Spain by further developing a geographic information system (GIS) database that was implemented in 2002-2003 for a soil erosion study. The data compiled within this GIS will provide part of the foundation for modeling changes in the amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC) as a function land management and climate. The results of this research will be disseminated (estimated mid-2007) with the aim of presenting new information on how land management in this area, and similar agricultural regions, can influence levels of soil carbon content and thus global atmospheric CO2 levels.

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