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The Effects of Agricultural Land Use Change to Miscanthus x giganteus on N2O Emissions

Brendan Roth

Brendan Roth

(rothb@tcd.ie)

Supervisor: Dr. Mike Williams

Nitrous Oxide, Miscanthus, Fungi/Bacteria

Miscanthus x giganteus is a tropical grass popular for use as an energy crop due to substantial yields in temperate climates and low nitrogen inputs. While work has been done on carbon cycling and CO2 fluxes associated with Miscanthus, little has been done to examine other important greenhouse gases, in particular N2O. We propose that the good availability of decomposable organic matter and highly effective nitrogen use associated with Miscanthus will lead to a high fungal/bacterial ratio when compared with other common agricultural land uses. This in turn has been shown to be beneficial by reducing N2O emissions and other N losses. In order to examine this we are measuring field N2O fluxes and using a modified version of the substrate induced respiration inhibition technique to measure F/B ratios and their respective contributions to N2O emissions. This has been carried out in a number of similar soils subject to different land uses. Further work will include an analysis of the changes in farm scale GHG budgets associated with land use change to Miscanthus.

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Last updated 14 December 2009 botany@tcd.ie.