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Jesko Zimmermann

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Research Profile

Carbon dynamics linked to land-use and land-use change (LULUC) have been recognised as a major factor in the global green-house gas (GHG) budget. The major sources of carbon to the atmosphere are the loss of above and below ground biomass as well as the loss of soil organic carbon. Estimates have shown that in the decade between 1990 and 2000 emissions related to LULUC and forestry have been between 0.5 and 2.7 Gt C yr-1. The major sources are conversion from forestry to agriculture and from grasslands to cropland; on the other hand land-use change from cropland to grassland can facilitate soil carbon sequestration. While the effects of different types of land-use change on the GHG budget have been well studied, recent research shows that different management practices can have a significant impact on soil organic carbon stocks. In Ireland grassland, as the dominant land-use type, deserves particular attention. While grassland is generally considered a carbon sink, management practices can have a significant impact on carbon dynamics. Major practices influencing the GHG balance are: (1) grazing management, (2) sowing of improved species, especially nitrogen fixing plants, (3) increasing organic input, and (4) restoring degraded grasslands. Owing to a lack of available data only two types of grassland are currently used in the national greenhouse gas budget, improved and unimproved grasslands with no further breakdown of type and management. The trajectory of land-use change from, to, and within grassland is calculated from the overall changes in respective land-use. The aim of this project is to use a high resolution spatial database (LPIS) to refine the grassland classification in Ireland taking management practises into account as well as to track land-use change spatially explicit.
Funded by the EPAs STRIVE research programme

Publications
Zimmermann, J, Dauber, J, and MB Jones (2012): Soil carbon sequestration during the establishment-phase of Miscanthus x giganteus: a regional scale study. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp. 453 - 461.   


Zimmermann, J, Styles, D, Hastings, A, Dauber, J, and MB Jones (2013): Assessing the impact of within crop heterogeneity ('patchiness') in young Miscanthus x giganteus fields on economic feasibility and soil carbon sequestration. Global Change Biology Bioenergy. (Available online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12084/abstract) DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12084

Zimmermann, J, Dondini, M, and MB Jones: Assessing the direct impacts of the establishment of Miscanthus x giganteus on soil organic carbon in Ireland. (Submitted to European Journal of Soil Science)

Contact details

Botany Building, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2. Tel: +353-1-8962208 Email: jzimmerm@tcd.ie

 

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Last updated 13 October 2014 botany@tcd.ie.