Spatial variability and hotspots of soil N2O fluxes from intensively grazed grassland

Cowan, N.J.; Norman, P.; Famulari, D.; Levy, P.E.; Reay, D.S.; Skiba, U.M.. 2015 Spatial variability and hotspots of soil N2O fluxes from intensively grazed grassland. Biogeosciences, 12 (5). 1585-1596.

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One hundred N2O flux measurements were made from an area of intensively managed grazed grassland in central Scotland using a high-resolution dynamic chamber method. The field contained a variety of features from which N2O fluxes were measured including a manure heap, patches of decaying grass silage, and areas of increased sheep activity. Individual fluxes varied significantly across the field varying from 2 to 79 000 μg N2O-N m−2 h−1. Soil samples were collected at 55 locations to investigate relationships between soil properties and N2O flux. Fluxes of N2O correlated strongly with soil NO3- concentrations. Distribution of NO3− and the high spatial variability of N2O flux across the field are shown to be linked to the distribution of waste from grazing animals and the resultant reactive nitrogen compounds in the soil which are made available for microbiological processes. Features within the field such as shaded areas and manure heaps contained significantly higher available nitrogen than the rest of the field. Although these features only represented 1.1% of the area of the field, they contributed to over 55% of the total estimated daily N2O flux.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Dise
ISSN: 1726-4170
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
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Date made live: 12 Mar 2015 15:28 +0 (UTC)

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