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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Radiation Balance of a Soil-Straw Surface Modified by Straw Color


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 86 No. 1, p. 200-203
    Received: Sept 25, 1992

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Brenton S. Sharratt  and
  2. Gaylon S. Campbell
  1. U SDA-ARS North Central Soil Conservation Res. Lab., Morris, MN 56267
    D ep. of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA



Straw color may alter the net radiative flux at the soil-straw surface and, consequently, the availability of energy for soil, biological, and atmospheric processes. This study ascertained the radiation balance of a soil-straw surface as modified by the color of the straw on the surface. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) stubble and loose straw on 36-m2 plots near Fairbanks, AK, was painted black, white, or remained unpainted (natural) in a randomized block experimental design. Reflected global radiation was measured in the spring of 1988–1990 and net radiation was monitored in the spring of 1990. Midday reflected global radiation and soil-straw surface temperatures were measured on clear days in 1989. The albedo of the black straw treatment was 0.05, of the natural straw treatment was 0.2, and of the white straw treatment was 0.3. The black straw treatment resulted in higher midday surface temperatures and consequently higher emission of longwave radiation compared with other straw color treatments. A soilstraw-atmosphere system model provided good estimates of the measured net radiative flux in 1990 (R2 = 0.91). The model predicted that a soil-black straw surface would absorb 10% more radiation than a soil-natural straw surface and 15% more radiation than a soil-white straw surface averaged over the three years. The results suggest that straw color management can be an option for altering the surface radiation balance in regions with extreme climates.

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