Bioenergy crops have been the focus of much attention recently because of their potential for reducing UK CO2 emissions.
Most of this attention has been on the above ground energetics of crops such as Miscanthus (elephant grass), but consideration of the effects on the below-ground carbon stocks is essential if the overall carbon balance of these crops is to be calculated accurately.
Aberystwyth University scientists have developed a range of replicated field experiments to evaluate the bioenergy cropping potential of Miscanthus, willow, switchgrass and reed canary grass on different soil types at the Plas Gogerddan campus.
The SEREN project will make use of these existing experiments to investigate how the different crops affect the below-ground carbon allocation. This will provide invaluable information on where best to grow crops to maximise both above-ground yield and below-ground carbon sequestration.