Quantifying soil carbon sequestration in kiwifruit orchards – Development of a sampling strategy
The Plant and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited
In offshore markets there is growing concern that many existing land management practices for food production are releasing additional carbon into the atmosphere thereby contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. If it can be demonstrated that in New Zealand the production of perennial fruit crops such as kiwifruit can enhance or maintain carbon storage then this may allow greater differentiation of our products in environmentally concerned markets such as Europe.
Currently, there is no standard methodology to verify any claims of carbon storage in kiwifruit orchards. One of the objectives of our SFF project is to develop a robust sampling protocol to quantify soil carbon stocks (SCS) in kiwifruit orchards.
Our hypothesis was that the depth distribution of SCS will be different in ‘young’ and ‘old’ kiwifruit orchards and that the vine row and grass alleyway have to be separately sampled. We identified two blocks that are representative for many kiwifruit orchards in the BOP on a property in Te Puke. The soil is a typic orthic allophanic soil with a loamy texture. One of the blocks was established 10 years (‘young’) and the other 25 years (‘old’) ago. The blocks are besides each other and have the same soil type and climate, and receive the same management. We sampled the SCS of each block from the soil surface to 1 m depth in six depth increments. Download full article...