SEMINAR: Soil&Water Seminar, Aug8:
|Soil&Water Seminar, Aug8: : "Assessing strategies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from wheat production: Role of grain legumes and soil liming"
The first Soil&Water Seminar for Semester 2, 2012, will be Assoc. Prof. Louise Barton from SEE(UWA)on Weds Aug 8. All welcome!
TITLE: “Assessing strategies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from wheat production: Role of grain legumes and soil liming.”
ABSTRACT: Utilising inorganic nitrogen (N) fertilizer greatly influences greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural production systems in semi-arid regions. Our previous research demonstrated that the production and use of urea accounted for 70% of the total GHG emissions from wheat production in a semi-arid region of south-western Australia. Greenhouse gases were emitted during the manufacture of the urea (34% of total emissions), as well as following its application to land via carbon dioxide (CO2) hydrolysis (27%), and soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions (9%). A large proportion of N2O emissions occurred between growing seasons, and following summer rainfall events, rather than in response to N fertilizer applications, with nitrification considered to be the source of these losses.
Lowering N inputs is not considered to be an option for decreasing the contribution of N fertilizer to total GHG emissions from cropped soils in south-western Australia, as application rates are typically low. Instead, CO2 emissions resulting from N fertilizer production and urea hydrolysis could be partly mitigated by incorporating plants that fix atmospheric N (e.g. grain legumes) into the crop rotation, decreasing the reliance on synthetic N fertilizer. Furthermore, increasing soil pH by applying lime may be an approach to decreasing N2O emitted in response to summer rainfall events if nitrification, rather than denitrification, is the main soil biological source of the emissions. Consequently this seminar will present findings from a recently completed field-based study investigating if including a grain legume (lupin) in a cropping rotation, or increasing the soil pH via liming, decreased the GHG emissions from wheat production in south-western Australia.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Louise Barton is a soil scientist who has been researching nitrogen cycling in various landuses for the past 17 years. She is currently an Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia, and leads the Soil Biology Group in the School of Earth & Environment. Her current interests include measuring soil N2O emissions from cropping soils in the Western Australian grainbelt, and investigating the contribution of agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions. Louise completed her undergraduate degree at The University of Western Australia in 1991, and her PhD from the University of Waikato in 1998
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