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Fluxes of N2O from Arable Soils: Emissions Factors, Annual Totals and Predictive Modelling

Komsan Rueangritsarakul Ton

Supervisor: Dr. Mike Williams

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a major greenhouse gas significantly influencing climate change. Agricultural soils represent about 42% of anthropogenic emissions of N2O of the order of 2.8 Tg N yr-1. Approximately 67 percent of Ireland is agriculture. Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture were estimated to be almost 28% of total national emissions in Ireland, of which, 79% was N2O, accounting for 23.16 Gg N in 2005. N2O is produced in soils by the microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification. An important factor underpinning both processes is the mineralization of soil organic matter. Agriculture practices such as fertilizer and tillage can also affect emissions of N2O additionally. Regarding the factors with significant influencing N2O emission, models have been developed as a predicting N2O emission tool. This project therefore aims to understand the key processes governing N2O emission, to determine the effect of reduced tillage and N-supply on soil emissions of N2O for a spring barley crop, and to model soil fluxes of N2O using both an empirical (predictive) and process-based approach.

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Last updated 31 May 2010