Effects of climate and management intensity on nitrous oxide emissions in grassland systems across Europe

Flechard, C. R.; Ambus, P.; Skiba, U.; Rees, R. M.; Hensen, A.; van Amstel, A.; van den Pol-van Dasselaar, A; Soussana, J.-F.; Jones, M.; Clifton-Brown, J.; Raschi, A.; Horvath, L.; Neftel, A.; Jocher, M.; Ammann, C.; Leifeld, J.; Fuhrer, J.; Calanca, P.; Thalman, E.; Pilegraard, K.; Di Marco, C.; Campbell, C.; Nemitz, E.; Hargreaves, K. J.; Levy, P. D.; Ball, B. C; Jones, S. K.; van de Bulk, W. C. M.; Groot, T.; Blom, M.; Dominguez, R.; Kasper, G.; Allard, V.; Ceschia, E.; Laville, P.; Cellier, P.; Henault, C.; Bizouard, F.; Abdalla, M.; Williams, M.; Baronti, S.; Berretti, F.; Grosz, B.. 2007 Effects of climate and management intensity on nitrous oxide emissions in grassland systems across Europe. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 121 (1-2). 135-152.

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Soil/atmosphere exchange fluxes of nitrous oxide were monitored for a 3-year period at 10 grassland sites in eight European countries (Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland and United Kingdom), spanning a wide range of climatic, environmental and soil conditions. Most study sites investigated the influence of one or several management practices on N2O exchange, such as nitrogen fertilization and grazing intensity. Fluxes were measured using non-steady state chambers at most sites, and alternative measurement techniques such as eddy covariance and fast-box using tunable diode laser spectroscopy were implemented at some sites. The overall uncertainty in annual flux estimates derived from chamber measurements may be as high as 50% due to the temporal and spatial variability in fluxes, which warrants the future use of continuous measurements, if possible at the field scale. Annual emission rates were higher from intensive than from extensive grasslands, by a factor 4 if grazed (1.77 versus 0.48 kg N2O-N ha1 year1) and by a factor 3 if ungrazed (0.95 versus 0.32 kg N2O-N ha1 year1). Annual emission factors for fertilized systems were highly variable, ranging from 0.01% to 3.56%, but the mean emission factor across all sites (0.75%) was substantially lower than the IPCC default value of 1.25%. Emission factors for individual fertilization events increased with soil temperature and were generally higher for water-filled pore space values in the range 60– 90%, though precipitation onto dry soils was also shown to lead to high losses of N2O-N from applied fertilizer. An empirical, multiple

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG01 Measuring and modelling trace gas, aerosol and carbon > BG01.1 UK nitrogen and sulphur compounds
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 0167-8809
Additional Keywords: nitrous oxide, N2O flux, grassland, grazing, fertilizer, emission factor
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 07 Apr 2008 13:48 +0 (UTC)

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