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WVU studies climate change potential for carbon-hungry grasses planted on former mine lands

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WVU researchers are studying plots of switchgrass and miscanthus planted at a former surface mine site in Upshur County to determine whether the plants are more effective at capturing and storing carbon in soil than other grasses. (Submitted Photo)

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West Virginia University researchers are exploring the potential for carbon-hungry grasses planted on reclaimed mine land to help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

A $35,000 grant from the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation supports the two-year study by the National Mine Land Reclamation Center at WVU’s West Virginia Water Research Institute .

Jason Fillhart , WVWRI watershed project manager, said the research team will study grasses planted 12 years ago by WVU researchers investigating biofuels at a former surface mine site in Upshur County. The goal is to determine how much carbon has been captured and stored as soil organic matter since the grasses were planted and whether different types of vegetation are more effective at capturing and storing carbon in soil.

“With a lot of these marginally reclaimed lands, if we can more efficiently plant these to sequester more carbon, that’s one step closer to becoming carbon neutral to offset our carbon footprint,” Fillhart said. “Carbon credit trading is going to […]

Click here to view original web page at wvutoday.wvu.edu

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