Carbon Cycling and Storage in Semi-arid Environments

January 2022 | 39 min., 03 sec.
by Katie L. Lewis
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas Tech University


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Conservation management practices have variable effects on soil carbon (C) storage. Soil texture and irrigation capacity have been identified as major drivers behind the differences observed in soil C storage. C storage is greater with cover crops in sandy soil and with rotation in clay soil. There is the potential to sequester 0.14 ton of C per acre per year in a sandy, semi-arid cotton system using cover crop and no-tillage (23-year system). Although the changes may be small, benefits will result from keeping any amount of carbon dioxide in the soil and out of the atmosphere.​​

About the Presenter

Katie L. Lewis Katie L. Lewis is an agricultural and environmental soil scientist and continually striving to enhance her understanding of the critical challenges currently facing agriculture and society. As the daughter of a S​outh Texas farmer (Taft, San Patricio County), she was introduced at a young age to these challenges of sustainable agriculture and how they affect society. Dr. Lewis considers soil to be one of our most valuable natural resources, with the ability to produce food, feed and fiber, recycle wastes, filter and break down contaminants, and sequester carbon. As an assistant professor of soil chemistry and fertility at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas Tech University, Dr. Lewis is provided the opportunity through research and service to enhance the agricultural sustainability of the Texas High Plains region that is vitally important to both Texas and the nation, while helping educate future scientists, farmers, society, and policy-makers. Dr. Lewis received her BS in chemistry from Sam Houston State University in 2008. She received her MS and PhD in 2010 and 2014, respectively, from Texas A&M University. With a joint appointment at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Lubbock (75% research) and Texas Tech University (25% teaching), Dr. Lewis is deeply engaged in research, teaching and service.​​

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