Due to changes in climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) has steadily increased to 421 ppm over the past century (Lindsey, 2022). Soil is an underutilized storage of carbon sequestration in arable farming (Gonsamo et al., 2022). Thus, it is vital to further research on the underdeveloped system of soil dedicated to arable farming to optimize its capacity to sequester carbon to sequester atmospheric CO₂ as carbon in soil. In this study, the belowground biomass of 50 varieties of winter wheat are analyzed to determine which is the most robust.

For this study, soil-cores were taken from a sampling field of winter wheat varieties in order to extract the belowground biomass. The belowground biomasses were analyzed, and averages determined in RStudio. Data on aboveground biomass collected by the OARDC was used to compare full biomass profiles of the top belowground biomass varieties. GIS mapping of the sampling field soil units and slope grade were made to determine biological factors, such as a flood zone, that may impact the growth of belowground biomass.

Biomass analyses determined the top five varieties for belowground biomass of those sampled. Despite a few outliers, most varieties fell into a symmetrical statistical distribution. However, these results suggest certain varieties have genetics that correspond to a better distribution of robust belowground biomass. The more robust and well distributed the belowground biomass, the higher the capacity for sequestering carbon within the soil. Leading to improved carbon sequestration in arable farming of winter wheat carbon. Furthermore, proving that arable farming can be improved to mitigate atmospheric carbon by sequestering it in soil.


Judge, Shelley


Earth Sciences; Geology


Agricultural Science | Geology | Plant Breeding and Genetics | Soil Science


Belowground Biomass, Carbon Sequestration, Soil

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis


© Copyright 2023 Grace A. Braver