Short-term effects of sheep urine and dung on greenhouse gas emissions from semi-improved grassland soils
Grazed grasslands are large sources of soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, particularly emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) driven by the deposition of ruminant excreta. Semi-improved grassland systems, typically used for sheep grazing, comprise a large proportion of Scotland’s agricultural land area. Information regarding the GHG emissions associated with grazed semi-improved grasslands is currently lacking, yet necessary to enable sustainable management strategies for this land type to be devised. The efficacy of mitigation options such as controlling concentrations of urinary hippuric acid (HA), a natural soil N2O inhibitor, through animal diet also merit further investigation. Here we present findings from a short-term incubation study using semi-improved grassland soils from east-central Scotland. GHG emissions from untreated soils and soils receiving synthetic sheep urine (with low, medium and high HA concentrations), sheep dung and synthetic urine + dung treatments were monitored over 50 days under controlled environmental conditions.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2015, Edinburgh, UK