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Greenhouse gas absorption and emission in arable soils - CC0207

Arable land contributes to environmental levels of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, but is able to absorb and oxidize another important greenhouse gas, methane. In order to protect the environment, is it therefore necessary to minimize nitrous oxide production and maximize methane oxidation in arable soils. Some acceptable agricultural practices, such as cultivation and the application of fertilizers or manures may, however, enhance nitrous oxide formation or inhibit methane oxidation. This study will investigate the impact of farming practice on nitrous oxide production and methane oxidation in arable systems, including long-term application of fertilizers and manures and the short-term impact of fertilizers and cover crops. Laboratory measurements of methane oxidation of core samples taken from different arable sites will be used and compared with similar measurements taken in the field. Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes will be measured in the field using the Trace Gas Analyser. Mechanisms of any observed suppression of methane oxidation or enhancement of nitrous oxide production will be elucidated by isolating and identifying the microorganisms responsible. The results obtained will be used to construct models representing both processes. Overall, the work will provide more information on the relationship between agriculture and the environment, particularly the greenhouse effect.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1992

To: 1996

Cost: £439,118
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rothamsted Research (BBSRC)
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change