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Quantifying climate change mitigation potential in Great Plains wetlands for three greenhouse gas emission scenarios

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change

By:
, , , , , , and
DOI: 10.1007/s11027-013-9500-0

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Abstract

We examined opportunities for avoided loss of wetland carbon stocks in the Great Plains of the United States in the context of future agricultural expansion through analysis of land-use land-cover (LULC) change scenarios, baseline carbon datasets and biogeochemical model outputs. A wetland map that classifies wetlands according to carbon pools was created to describe future patterns of carbon loss and potential carbon savings. Wetland avoided loss scenarios, superimposed upon LULC change scenarios, quantified carbon stocks preserved under criteria of carbon densities or land value plus cropland suitability. Up to 3420 km2 of wetlands may be lost in the region by 2050, mainly due to conversion of herbaceous wetlands in the Temperate Prairies where soil organic carbon (SOC) is highest. SOC loss would be approximately 0.20 ± 0.15 megagrams of carbon per hectare per year (MgC ha−1 yr−1), depending upon tillage practices on converted wetlands, and total ecosystem carbon loss in woody wetlands would be approximately 0.81 ± 0.41 MgC ha−1 yr−1, based on biogeochemical model results. Among wetlands vulnerable to conversion, wetlands in the Northern Glaciated Plains and Lake Agassiz Plains ecoregions exhibit very high mean SOC and on average, relatively low land values, potentially creating economically competitive opportunities for avoided carbon loss. This mitigation scenarios approach may be adapted by managers using their own preferred criteria to select sites that best meet their objectives. Results can help prioritize field-based assessments, where site-level investigations of carbon stocks, land value, and consideration of local priorities for climate change mitigation programs are needed.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Quantifying climate change mitigation potential in Great Plains wetlands for three greenhouse gas emission scenarios
Series title:
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
DOI:
10.1007/s11027-013-9500-0
Volume
20
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
Springer
Contributing office(s):
Western Geographic Science Center
Description:
27 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change
First page:
439
Last page:
465
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Great Plains
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N