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Correction to “Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Urban Turf”

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Correction to Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions
in urban turf
Amy TownsendSmall and Claudia I. Czimczik
Received 29 January 2010; published 27 March 2010.
Citation: TownsendSmall, A., and C. I. Czimczik (2010), Cor-
rection to Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions
in urban turf, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L06707, doi:10.1029/
2010GL042735.
[1] In the paper Carbon sequestration and greenhouse
gas emissions in urban turf by A. TownsendSmall and C.I.
Czimczik (Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L02707,
doi:10.1029/2009GL041675, 2010), we discovered an error
in the calculation of carbon dioxide (CO
2
) emissions from
fuel consumption during turfgrass maintenance. The data for
fuel consumption and park area described in the original
publication are correct. Park management contractors use
about 2700 gallons of gasoline per month to maintain a total
park area of about 2 × 10
6
m
2
[Townsend Small and
Czimczik, 2010]. We assumed that one gallon of gasoline
equaled 2421 g C [Environmental Protection Agency, 2005]
and a combustion efficiency of 85% [Lal, 2004]. This results
in CO
2
emissions from fuel usage of 122 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
,
not 1469 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
as originally reported [Townsend
Small and Czimczik, 2010], or about 24% of the organic
carbon (OC) storage per m
2
shown in ornamental lawns
(Figure 3 of the current study).
[
2] This changes the total global warming potential (GWP)
of both ornamental lawns and athletic fields (Figure 3b).
Based on this correction, the total GWP of ornamental lawns
ranges from 108 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
for the low fertilization
scenario (10 g N m
2
yr
1
) to +285 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
for the
high fertilizer scenario (75 g N m
2
yr
1
). In athletic fields,
which do not store OC in soils, there is a positive GWP
ranging from +405 to +798 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
for the low and
high fertilizer scenarios, respectively. Our estimates of
global warming potential also have errors associated with
our measurements of carbon sequestration and N
2
O pro-
duction (error bars in Figure 3). Ornamental lawn OC
sequestration ranges from 513 +37 to 513 73 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
, with uncertainties estimated from calculating
OC sequestration rates based on the standard error (SE) of
OC stocks at each time point. N
2
O emissions range from
45 +108 to 45 25 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
at a fertilization rate of
10 g N m
2
yr
1
and from 145 + 109 to 145 73 g CO
2
m
2
yr
1
at a fertilization rate of 75 g N m
2
yr
1
. Uncertainties in
N
2
O emissions were calculated from the SE of flux during
fertilizer pulses and the 25% or 75% interquartile of the
baseline flux.
[
3] This reanalysis shows that there may be a potential for
urban ornamental lawns to sequester atmospheric CO
2
if
they are managed conservatively (Figure 3b). However,
intensive management practices such as frequent application
of inorganic fertilizers, irrigation, and fuel consumption
from mowing and leaf blowing all decrease the likelihood
that urban turfgrass can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions
in cities.
References
Environmental Protection Agency (2005), Emission facts: Average carbon
dioxide emissions resulting from gasoline and diesel fuel, Rep. EPA420
F05001, Environ. Prot. Agency, Washington, D. C.
Lal, R. (2004), Carbon emission from farm operations, Environ. Int., 30,
981990, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2004.03.005.
TownsendSmall, A., and C. I. Czimczik (2010), Carbon sequestration and
greenhouse gas emissions in urban turf, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L02707,
doi:10.1029/2009GL041675.
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
00948276/10/2010GL042735
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, L06707, doi:10.1029/2010GL042735, 2010
L06707 1of2
Fig ure 3. (a) Global warming potential of soil OC sequestration and N
2
O emissions in ornamental lawns and athletic
fields. Error in GWPN
2
O is based on the mean fertilizer pulse ± its SE, ± the 25% or 75% interquartile of the baseline
flux. Error in soil GWP is estimated from the mean OC stock at each time point ± SE. (b) Same as Figure 3a, but including
estimates of CO
2
emissions from fuel use, fertilizer production, and irrigation.
2of2
TOWNSEND-SMALL AND CZIMCZIK: CORRECTION L06707L06707
... Fine-textured soils with high clay content are better at stabilizing SOC and reducing the rate of decomposition [21]; however, soils with high clay content are prone to compaction and are therefore not suitable for turfgrass under traffic, such as sports turf and golf courses. For this reason, sports fields, as well as golf course greens and tees, are commonly constructed using sand and typically have less SOC than lawns grown on native soils [22,23]. However, research has shown that soil texture does not always have a significant influence on SOC stocks in residential lawns [16,17,24,25]. ...
... Although turfgrass systems continuously assimilate atmospheric CO2 through photosynthesis and accumulate SOC, there are concerns about turfgrass maintenance emissions, which can shift turfgrass systems from being carbon sinks to carbon sources [10,19,23,31]. Hidden carbon costs (HCCs) and net GHGs are expressed as CO2 equivalents (CO2-e) and are occasionally reported as C equivalents (C-e) in the literature, which are calculated by multiplying CO2-e values by 0.2727 (molecular weight of C/molecular weight of CO2). ...
... Hidden carbon costs (HCCs) and net GHGs are expressed as CO2 equivalents (CO2-e) and are occasionally reported as C equivalents (C-e) in the literature, which are calculated by multiplying CO2-e values by 0.2727 (molecular weight of C/molecular weight of CO2). Some studies have estimated HCCs and GHGs in established turfgrass systems, accounting for fuel, irrigation, fertilization, and N2O emissions [23,72]. Zhang et al. [72] also included HCCs from production and transportation of pesticides, which accounted for the smallest portion among other factors. ...
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... Sequestration of carbon by turfgrasses was regarded as beneficial, with carbon accumulating in the soil(Townsend-Small & Czimczik, 2010;Zirkle et al., 2011;Selhorst & Lal, 2013;Huyler et al., 2014;Kong et al., 2014). According to several authors and models, it can take anywhere between 66 and 199 years for a standard-managed US home turf to attain equilibrium. ...
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... Net productivity can be stimulated by elevated ambient CO 2 concentrations (Ainsworth et al., 2012), greater nutrient availability from direct fertilization or indirectly from deposition (Decina et al., 2016;Rao et al., 2014), high light environments Trlica et al., 2020), and potential for higher water availability from irrigation and leaking infrastructure (Randrup et al., 2001;Stål, 1998). Similarly, urban conditions can elevate soil respiration rates due to the import of labile C sources and use of fertilizers (Decina et al., 2016;Hundertmark et al., 2021;Townsend-Small & Czimczik, 2010). ...
... The management decisions made surrounding invasive species, deer populations, and general landscaping practices (e.g., pruning, irrigation, fertilization, mulching, litter removal, replanting practices, etc.) in urban areas have significant impacts on carbon balance of urban areas (Bressette & Beck, 2013;Hundertmark et al., 2021;Parazoo et al., 2021;Pataki et al., 2011;Templer et al., 2015;Townsend-Small & Czimczik, 2010;Winbourne et al., 2020). Our study site, similar to other urban areas in northeastern United States, has high deer densities (30-100 individuals km −2 ; Rutberg & Naugle, 2008), abundance of invasive plant species (Gaertner et al., 2017), and fragmented forest patches (Morreale et al., 2021;Reinmann et al., 2020). ...
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Emission facts: Average carbon dioxide emissions resulting from gasoline and diesel fuel
Environmental Protection Agency (2005), Emission facts: Average carbon dioxide emissions resulting from gasoline and diesel fuel, Rep. EPA420-F-05-001, Environ. Prot. Agency, Washington, D. C.