Hedgerows on Crop Field Edges Increase Soil Carbon to a Depth of 1 meter

Jessica L. Chiartas, Louise E. Jackson, Rachael F. Long, Andrew J. Margenot, Anthony T. O’Geen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective incentivization of soil carbon (C) storage as a climate mitigation strategy necessitates an improved understanding of management impacts on working farms. Using a regional survey on intensively managed farms, soil organic carbon (SOC) concentrations and stocks (0–100 cm) were evaluated in a pairwise comparison of long-term (10+ years) woody hedgerow plantings and adjacent crop fields in Yolo County, CA, USA. Twenty-one paired sites were selected to represent four soil types (Yolo silt loam, Brentwood clay loam, Capay silty clay, and Corning loam), with textures ranging from 16% to 51% clay. Soil C was higher in the upper 100 cm under hedgerows (14.4 kg m−2) relative to cultivated fields (10.6 kg m−2) and at all depths (0–10, 10–20, 20–50, 50–75, and 75–100 cm). The difference in SOC (3.8 kg m−2) did not vary by soil type, suggesting a broad potential for hedgerows to increase SOC stocks. Assuming adoption rates of 50 to 80% across California for hypothetical field edges of average-size farms, and an identical SOC sequestration potential across soil types, hedgerows could sequester 10.8 to 17.3 MMT CO2e, or 7 to 12% of California’s annual greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12901
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • agriculture
  • conservation
  • hedgerows
  • Mediterranean climate
  • soil carbon
  • woody shrubs
  • field borders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Hedgerows on Crop Field Edges Increase Soil Carbon to a Depth of 1 meter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this