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Title: Determining trace gas flux from container-grown woody ornamentals

item MARBLE, S - Auburn University
item Prior, Stephen - Steve
item Runion, George
item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item GILLIAM, H - Auburn University
item FAIN, G - Auburn University
item SIBLEY, J - Auburn University
item KNIGHT, P - Mississippi State Extension Service

Submitted to: International Plant Propagators Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2011
Publication Date: 12/22/2011
Citation: Marble, S.C., Prior, S.A., Runion, G.B., Torbert III, H.A., Gilliam, C.H., Fain, G.B., Sibley, J.L., Knight, P.R. 2011. Determining trace gas flux from container-grown woody ornamentals. International Plant Propagators Proceedings. 61:469-475.

Interpretive Summary: Our results show that loss of both CO2 and N2O were greatest in the largest containers. Greenhouse gas emissions in this study showed that container production may emit more than some row crops; however nursery production acreage is minuscule when compared to agronomic crops. Further investigation is needed to determine the impact of different production factors such as growing media, fertilization and irrigation practices, and plant species on gas emissions. While uncertainty still remains regarding the overall impact of the nursery industry on climate change, early results from this study begin to provide some baseline data on container-nursery production systems.

Technical Abstract: In recent years, anthropogenic climate change and its effects on the global environment has garnered significant attention from the scientific community. Increased trace gas emissions (CO2, CH4, and N2O) are widely believed to be the driving force behind global warming. Agriculture is a large contributor to trace gas emissions. Much of the work on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has focused on row crop, forestry, and pasture systems, with little work in specialty crop industries such as horticulture. Our objective was to determine efflux patterns of CO2, CH4, and N2O associated with different nursery container sizes under common production practices. These data are needed to develop Best Management Practices for reducing trace gas emissions from container nursery production systems.