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Location: Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research

Title: Measurement of greenhouse gas flux from agricultural soils using static chambers

item Collier, Sarah - University Of Wisconsin
item Ruark, Matthew - University Of Wisconsin
item Oates, Lawrence - University Of Wisconsin
item Jokela, William
item Dell, Curtis

Submitted to: Journal of Visualized Experiments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2014
Publication Date: 8/3/2014
Citation: Collier, S.M., Ruark, M.D., Oates, L.G., Jokela, W.E., Dell, C.J. 2014. Measurement of greenhouse gas flux from agricultural soils using static chambers. Journal of Visual Education. 90 e52110 doi: 10.3791152110.

Interpretive Summary: Measurements of greenhouse gas fluxes (nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide) from agricultural soils are needed to assess the role of agricultural management in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Manually deployed, small chambers are widely used to monitor gas emissions from the soil surface, however many possible variations in sampling techniques have been used. This educational video journal presentation outlines the approach to developing a sampling and analysis protocol for greenhouse gas emissions and is intended to guide researchers who are new to the field.

Technical Abstract: Measurement of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes between the soil and the atmosphere, in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems, is critical to understanding the biogeochemical drivers of climate change and to the development and evaluation of GHG mitigation strategies based on modulation of landscape management practices. The static chamber-based method described here is based on trapping gases emitted from the soil surface within a chamber and collecting samples from the chamber headspace at regular intervals for analysis by gas chromatography. Change in gas concentration over time is used to calculate flux. This method can be utilized to measure landscape-based flux of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, and to estimate differences between treatments or explore system dynamics over seasons or years. Infrastructure requirements are modest, but a comprehensive experimental design is essential. This method is easily deployed in the field, conforms to established guidelines, and produces data suitable to large-scale GHG emissions studies.