Effects of Revegetation on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Solar Photovoltaic Infrastructure
AuthorChoi, Chong Seok
Cagle, Alexander E.
Bloom, Dellena E.
DepartmentEarth and Environmental Science
Architecture and Environmental Design
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/1128
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AbstractSolar photovoltaic (PV) technology is being deployed at an unprecedented rate. However, utility-scale solar energy development is land intensive and its large-scale installation can have negative impacts on the environment. In particular, solar energy infrastructure can require extensive landscape modification that transforms soil ecological functions, thereby impacting hydrologic, vegetative, and carbon dynamics. However, reintroducing native vegetation to solar PV sites may be a means of restoring their soils. To this end, we investigated critical soil physical and chemical parameters at a revegetated photovoltaic array and an adjacent reference grassland in Colorado, United States. Seven years after revegetation, we found that carbon and nitrogen remained lower in the PV soil than in the reference soil and contained a greater fraction of coarse particles. We also found that the PV modules introduced heterogeneity in the soil moisture distribution, with precipitation accumulating along the lower edges of panels. The redistribution of soil moisture by panel arrays could potentially be used in concert with planting strategies to maximize plant growth or minimize soil erosion, and should be considered when evaluating the potential to co-locate vegetation with solar infrastructure.
CitationChoi CS, Cagle AE, Macknick J, Bloom DE, Caplan JS and Ravi S (2020) Effects of Revegetation on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Solar Photovoltaic Infrastructure. Front. Environ. Sci. 8:140. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2020.00140
Citation to related workFrontiers Media
Choi, Chong Seok; Cagle, Alexander E.; Macknick, Jordan; Bloom, Dellena E.; Caplan, Joshua S.; Ravi, Sujith (2020): Effects of Revegetation on Soil Physical and Chemical Properties in Solar Photovoltaic Infrastructure. Frontiers. Collection. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2020.00140
Has partFrontiers in Environmental Science, August 2020, Vol. 8
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