Do California Annual Grassland Soils have a High Soil Carbon Sequestration Potential?  

View published paper: "Soil carbon pools in California’s annual grassland ecosystems. Rangeland Ecology & Management", 63(1), 128-136.

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Research Team

Whendee L. Silver, Rebecca Ryals, and Valerie Eviner (Ecosystem Sciences Division, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management University of California at Berkeley and Department of Plant Sciences, University of California at Davis).


  • Soil carbon is highly predictable with depth in California Rangelands. Cumulative soil carbon content increased to 2–3 m depth in rangelands with a woody component and to at least 1 m depth in open rangelands. Soil carbon pools were not correlated with temperature or precipitation at a regional scale. Soil carbon pools were weakly positively correlated with clay content and peaked at intermediated levels of aboveground net primary production. 

  • Annual grasslands have similar soil carbon storage capacity as temperate perennial grasslands and offer an important resource for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.