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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Impacts of Agricultural Management Practices and Global Change on Non-Co2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Author
item Venterea, Rodney

Submitted to: Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2005
Publication Date: February 5, 2005
Citation: Venterea, R.T. 2005. Impacts of agricultural management practices and global change on non-co2 greenhouse gas emissions. Range Management Meeting Proceedings, February 5-11, 2005, Fort Worth, Texas. Abstract No. 356.

Technical Abstract: Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are thought to be the main cause of human-induced climate change. However, two other gases, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), are also very potent greenhouse gases (GHGs) that can either be consumed or emitted by soils in most managed and unmanaged ecosystems. The potency of CH4 and N2O as greenhouse gases is 20-300 times as great as CO2 on a per mole basis. For this reason, changes in management practices such as tillage, fertilization, grazing intensity, or water management, that may affect the net emissions of CH4 and N2O have the potential to significantly alter the total GHG budget of a particular ecosystem. Such changes may in fact counteract gains in soil C, from a GHG perspective. In addition, plant, soil, and microbial responses to elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, and also to elevated rates of atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, have the potential to alter the fundamental processes regulating CH4 and N2O release. There is currently no consensus, however, regarding (1) whether specific management practices that result in increased soil C storage will also result in increased, or decreased, non-CO2 GHG emissions, or (2) whether elevated atmospheric CO2 will result in positive or negative feedbacks with respect to the total GHG budget. A summary of recent and current studies related to the above issues will be discussed.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014