Alberta’s grasslands span 93,000 square kilometres across the province, providing food for livestock and homes for hundreds of native species. Research shows that grasslands can store twice as much soil carbon as adjacent cropland, which means they are important in the battle to reduce GHG emissions, but the relationship between grazing and carbon storage is unclear. We also need to understand how drought-related changes in plant quantity and quality will affect cattle, and the carbon balance.

This project studies the role of different grazing systems in maximizing carbon storage and minimizing GHG emissions throughout Alberta’s grasslands. The aim is to better understand how grazing affects carbon storage in grasslands and the role grazing plays mitigating drought impacts and reducing GHG emissions. The results can inform policy to support cattle producers in their efforts to maximize for carbon storage in grasslands.