PhD graduate defense for LRIGS member Erin Daly, Thursday September 7 at 1:00 pm in 442B Earth Sciences Building “Assessment of Perennial Cereals in Central Alberta: Productivity and Environmental Performance”.
Abstract: Perennial grain crops are a novel amalgam of annually harvested grain crops and perennial forage crops, which are of great interest due to their purported ability to rectify several environmental challenges originating from modern agricultural production while continuing to deliver agricultural products. We completed a five-year field study to quantify the environmental performance and agronomic productivity of a perennial grain crop (Secale cereale L. × S. montanum Guss cv. ACE-1), as well as the greenhouse gas dynamics upon conversion of the perennial grain crop via tillage to a subsequent annual crop. Additionally, we investigated soil N2O priming, a mechanistic understanding of which is essential for the quantification, prediction, and mitigation of N2O emissions. In sum, this dissertation investigates several considerations with respect to perennial grain cropping, including their effects on N cycling, greenhouse gas emissions, soil physical quality, and their agronomic capabilities to determine their potential to contribute to sustainable agroecosystems.