CALISTO: Carbon loss from drained organic soils in agriculture use

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Resource or Project Abstract

Temperate grasslands on organic soils are diverse due to edaphic properties but also to regional management practices and this heterogeneity is reflected in the wide range of greenhouse gas (GHG) flux values reported in the literature. In Ireland, most grasslands on organic soils were drained several decades ago and are managed as extensive pastures with little or no fertilisation. This study describes a two-year study of the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) of two such sites. We determined GHG fluxes and waterborne carbon (C) emissions in a nutrient rich grassland and compared it with values measured from two nutrient poor organic soils: a deep drained and a shallow drained site. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes were determined using the chamber technique, and fluvial C fluxes were estimated by combining drainage water concentrations and flows.
The nutrient rich site was an annual source of CO2 (233 g C m-2 yr-1), CH4 neutral, and a small source of N2O (0.16 g N2O-N m-2 yr-1). Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) at the shallow drained nutrient poor site was -89 and -99 g C m-2 yr-1 in Years 1 and 2 respectively, and NEE at the deep drained nutrient poor site was 85 and -26 g C m-2 yr-1 respectively. Low CH4 emissions (1.3 g C m-2 yr-1) were recorded at the shallow drained nutrient poor site. Fluvial exports from the nutrient rich site totalled 69.8 g C m-2 yr-1 with 54% as dissolved organic C (DOC). Waterborne C losses from the nutrient poor site reflected differences in annual runoff totalling 44 g C m-2 yr-1 in Year 1 and 30.8 g C m-2 yr-1 in Year 2.
The NECB of the nutrient rich grassland was 663 g C m-2 yr-1 with biomass exports being the major component accounting for 53%. The NECB of the nutrient poor deep drained site was less than half of the nutrient rich site (2 year mean 267 g C m-2 yr-1). Although NEE at the nutrient poor shallow drained site was negative in both years, high biomass export meant it was a net C source (2 year mean NECB 103 g C m-2 yr-1). While the impacts of the nutrient and drainage status on NEE, biomass exports and fluvial C losses were confirmed, inter-regional differences in management practice and climate were also significant factors which impacted on the overall NECB of these ecosystems. Contrary to expectation, the NECB of nutrient poor drained organic soils under grasslands is not necessarily a large C source and this has implications for Ireland?s choice of national GHG inventory reporting methodologies. This study can also aid the development of strategies to deliver reduced emissions tailored to local grassland types.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Florence Renou-Wilson
University College Dublin
Environmental Scientist
Agriculture and Food Science Centre, Belfield, University College Dublin,, Belfield Dublin 4, Ireland
Telephone: +353 (0) 1 7167725
e-mail: florence.renou@ucd.ie

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3079
Resource KeywordsPeatlands, drained organic soils, greenhouse gas, fluxes, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluvial carbon, Dissolved organic carbon, particulate organic carbon
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2010-CCRP-MS-1.3
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeBiodiversity
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceThe report and any data or information resources made available on this SAFER-Data resource have been generated by the Irish SIS project. The reliability, quality and completeness of data gained through SAFER-Data is intended to be used in an education or research context. These data are not guaranteed for use in operational or decision-making settings. The EPA and SAFER-Data requests an acknowledgement (in publications, conference papers, etc) from those who use data/information received with SAFER-Data. This acknowledgement should state the original creators of the data/information. An automated citation is provided below. It is not ethical to publish data/information without proper attribution or co-authorship. The data/information are the intellectual property of the collecting investigator(s). The data/information may be freely downloaded and used by all who respect the restrictions and requirements in the previous paragraphs.
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 0
Project Start Date Saturday 1st January 2011 (01-01-2011)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st January 2011 (01-01-2011)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 1st January 2014 (01-01-2014)
Published on SAFERMonday 12th October 2015 (12-10-2015)
Date of Last EditMonday 12th October 2015 at 15:57:40 (12-10-2015)
Datasets or Files Updated On Monday 12th October 2015 at 15:57:40 (12-10-2015)

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Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
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Supplementary Information
All the project participants are gratefully thanked as the project produced excellent data and publication as well as outreach. Publications can be found on the website.

Co-authors of this project

Dr David Wilson, Earthy Matters Environmental Consultant, Glenvar, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. David.Wilson@earthymatters.ie


Chris Barry, Agri-Environment Branch,
Sustainable Agri-Food Sciences Division,
Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute,
Newforge Lane,
Belfast BT9 5PX
Northern Ireland
tel +44 (0)2890 255490 Barry, Chris (AFBI)


Prof. Christoph Mueller,
Professor of Experimental Plant Ecology
Director, Department of Plant Ecology (IFZ)
Justus-Liebig University Giessen
Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26
35392 Giessen
Phone: +49 641 9935301
Email: Christoph.Mueller@bot2.bio.uni-giessen.de
Links To Other Related Resources
  http://www.ucd.ie/calisto (Opens in a new window)

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