Diana Zapata, Texas, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Nithya Rajan, P.O.Box 1658, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX and Frank M. Hons, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Soil processes, such as soil respiration play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and the evolution of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The soil carbon storage in cropping systems is notably affected by intensive tillage practices that modify soil conditions. Soil physical properties control several processes including the storage and flow of water and gases from the soil, the oxidation of organic matter and microbial activity that contribute importantly to soil respiration. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of agroecosystems in sequestering or releasing carbon through measurement and comparison of soil CO2 flux under conventional and no-till practices implemented continuously over 33-years in College Station, Texas. Soil environmental conditions, bulk density, total porosity and water-filled pore space were measured and related to soil CO2 flux. So far, results indicate that soil carbon storage as soil organic carbon was significantly higher under no-till (14.8 g/kg) compared to conventional tillage (10.1 g/kg). This research provide important insight of the effect of soil physical properties in soil processes and sustainable production practices.