2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Modeling Carbon Sequestration in Phaseolus vulgaris
Joshua A. Mantooth* and Matthew J. Kiblinger
Prof. Zhong Ma and Dr. Todd Hammond, Faculty Mentors

Increased global CO2 emissions have been addressed by utilizing renewable fuels, conserving energy, producing local food, and reforestation. However, a less explored solution is the possibility of using agricultural crops and soil to sequester a portion of the 4.1 PgCy-1 currently being pumped into the atmosphere. We explored the dynamics of carbon sequestration by common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). This crop was grown using hydroponic culture at ambient and elevated CO2 levels in order to assess both the changes in total carbon sequestration and distribution of carbon within the leaves, stems, roots, and pods. Also, since nitrogen is a common limiting nutrient and an expensive industrial fertilizer, the impact of three nitrogen levels on growth was explored. Initial analysis suggests that a logistic growth model sufficiently describes dry biomass accumulation over time. Furthermore, our research supports the idea that CO2 and nitrogen concentrations affect the carbon sequestration abilities of annual crops.

Keywords: carbon sequestration, mathematical modeling, climate change, nitrogen fertilization, Phaseolus vulgaris

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 4-1
Location: Georgian Room - SUB
Time: 4:30

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* Indicates the Student Presenter