Hydro-Helpi - Optimizing of biomass production and carbon sequestration of reed canary grass cultivation by hydrological control

Principal investigator: Prof. Pertti Martikainen

Funding period:  2008-2011 (Tekes)

To control carbon balance of agricultural organic soils has proven to be problematic. Organic soils have shown to be generally high net sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere. We have studied intensively the greenhouse gas balance of an organic soil used for cultivation a bioenergy crop, reed canary grass (RCG, Phalaris arundinaceae), This site is an abandoned peat mining area in Linnansuo, Eastern Finland. Based on eddy covariance measurements for four years we have found that the wet growing season highly favous the carbon uptake and growth of RCG (Shurpali et al.  2009). In this project we control the overall hydrology of the site by blocking the drainage ditches to increase the water level at the site. There also are sub-sites where the availability of water is further increased by pumping. The CO2 balance and fluxes of N2O and CH4, crop yield and the supporting environmental parameters are measured to understand and model the greenhouse gas balances and growth of RCG  to define the optimum conditions for the atmosphere and yield. The project is supported by TEKES/EAKR and the FiDiPro Programme of Academy of Finland.