Impact of climate change on soil nitric oxide and nitrous oxide emissions from typical land uses in Scotland

Medinets, S.; White, S.; Cowan, N.; Drewer, J.; Dick, J.; Jones, M.; Andrews, C.; Harvey, D.; Skiba, U.. 2021 Impact of climate change on soil nitric oxide and nitrous oxide emissions from typical land uses in Scotland. Environmental Research Letters, 16 (5), 055035. 10, pp.

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Soil emissions of NO and N2O from typical land uses across Lowland and Highland Scotland were simulated under climate change conditions, during a short-term laboratory study. All locations investigated were significant sources of N2O (range: 157–277 µg N2O–N m−2 h−1) and low-to-moderate sources of NO emissions (range: 0.4–30.5 µg NO–N m−2 h−1), with a general tendency to decrease with altitude and increase with fertiliser and atmospheric N inputs. Simulated climate warming and extreme events (drought, intensive rainfall) increased soil NO pulses and N2O emissions from both natural and managed ecosystems in the following order: natural Highlands < natural Lowlands < grazed grasslands < natural moorland receiving high NH3 deposition rates. Largest NO emission rates were observed from natural moorlands exposed to high NH3 deposition rates. Although soil NO emissions were much smaller (6–660 times) than those of N2O, their impact on air quality is likely to increase as combustion sources of NOx are declining as a result of successful mitigation. This study provides evidence of high N emission rates from natural ecosystems and calls for urgent action to improve existing national and intergovernmental inventories for NO and N2O, which at present do not fully account for emissions from natural soils receiving no direct anthropogenic N inputs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1748-9326
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: NO, N2O, atmospheric N deposition, climate change, drought
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 01 Apr 2021 11:27 +0 (UTC)

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