Changes of soil organic carbon stocks and CO2 emissions at the early stages of urban turf grasses’ development

A.S. Shchepeleva*, V.I. Vasenev, I.M. Mazirov, I.I. Vasenev, I.S. Prokhorov, D.D. Gosse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Urbanization coincides with remarkable expansion of turf grasses and their increasing role in environmental processes and functions, including carbon (C) sequestration. Soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks in turf grass soils are substantial, however, an intensive soil respiration is also likely. Therefore C sequestration in turf grasses remains uncertain, especially at the early stages after development, when C uptake and CO2 emissions are unbalanced. We analyzed changes in SOC stocks and CO2 emissions at the experimental turf grasses in Moscow megapolis during the three years period after establishment. An influence of the three contrast depths of organic layers (5, 10 and 20 cm) on soil and biomass C and on the ornamental functions of turf grasses was studied. Total CO2 emission from the turf grasses during the observation period exceeded C uptake in grass and root biomass by two to three times. Therefore the turf grasses at the early stages of development are important source of biogenic C. Although the C losses were substantial, CO2 emission decreased and C uptake in biomass increased by the end of the observation period. The highest ratio of sequestered and emitted C was obtained for the thick turf grass soil constructions with a 20 cm organic layer. The highest ornamental value, indicated by the projective cover and sprout density, was also obtained for the thick turf grasses, which is essential to consider for developing the best management practices and sustainable turf grass soil constructions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalUrban Ecosystems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • C balance
  • Green lawns
  • Moscow
  • Ornamental functions
  • Soil respiration
  • Urban soil constructions


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