University to study carbon dioxide emissions for future tillage of fallow lands

The funding of 3 million rubles is going to be disbursed by the Russian Science Foundation in 2022-2023.

“This project is a continuation of the research that we conducted in 2017-2019 with a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. We were engaged in spatial modeling of heterogeneities in the accumulation of humus in fallow soils. We have made two very important conclusions. First, we found that organic matter accumulates in the deposits in a very heterogeneous manner: even within a small area, its amount can differ two- to threefold. And secondly, organic matter has different resistance to degradation,” says project lead Kamil Giniyatullin, Associate Professor of the Department of Soil Studies.

This new project aims to create mathematical models for the decomposition of organic matter in deposits and the potential emission of carbon dioxide (CO₂) into the atmosphere when lands are returned to arable turnover. The models will factor in spatial heterogeneity of fallow soils (in Russia, the total amount of such land is estimated to be between 20 and 40 million hectares).

The Government of Russia has adopted a large-scale program of increasing the area of tillage and melioration for 2022-2031; about 500 billion rubles will be invested to return 13 million hectares to the agricultural economy. Such a return will inevitably lead to increased emission of carbon dioxide, hence the necessity to evaluate potential environmental impact and to work out a program of soil-saving measures.

Currently, the researchers are studying two test plots of land in the vicinity of Kazan.


Source text: Larisa Busil

Photo: Maxim Zaretsky

Translation: Yury Nurmeev

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