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Greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils under organic and non-organic management - A global meta-analysis

Skinner, Colin; Gattinger, Andreas; Müller, Adrian; Mäder, Paul; Fließbach, Andreas; Stolze, Matthias; Ruser, Reiner and Niggli, Urs (2014) Greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils under organic and non-organic management - A global meta-analysis. Science of the Total Environment, 468-69, pp. 553-563.

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Document available online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969713010255


It is anticipated that organic farming systems provide benefits concerning soil conservation and climate protection. A literature search on measured soil-derived greenhouse gas (GHG) (nitrous oxide and methane) fluxes under organic and non-organic management from farming system comparisons was conducted and followed by a meta-analysis. Up to date only 19 studies based on field measurements could be retrieved. Based on 12 studies that cover annual measurements, it appeared with a high significance that area-scaled nitrous oxide emissions from organically managed soils are 492 ± 160 kg CO2 eq. ha− 1 a− 1 lower than from non-organically managed soils. For arable soils the difference amounts to 497 ± 162 kg CO2 eq. ha− 1 a− 1. However, yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions are higher by 41 ± 34 kg CO2 eq. t− 1 DM under organic management (arable and use). To equalize this mean difference in yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions between both farming systems, the yield gap has to be less than 17%. Emissions from conventionally managed soils seemed to be influenced mainly by total N inputs, whereas for organically managed soils other variables such as soil characteristics seemed to be more important. This can be explained by the higher bioavailability of the synthetic N fertilisers in non-organic farming systems while the necessary mineralisation of the N sources under organic management leads to lower and retarded availability. Furthermore, a higher methane uptake of 3.2 ± 2.5 kg CO2 eq. ha− 1 a− 1 for arable soils under organic management can be observed. Only one comparative study on rice paddies has been published up to date. All 19 retrieved studies were conducted in the Northern hemisphere under temperate climate. Further GHG flux measurements in farming system comparisons are required to confirm the results and close the existing knowledge gaps.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Bodenwissenschaften, Klima, Klimawandel, Systemvergleich, Organic, Non-organic farming systems, Nitrous oxide, Methane, Meta-analysis, Climate change
Subjects: Soil > Soil quality
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Germany > University of Hohenheim > Institute of Crop Science
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/themes/climate-change.html
Deposited By: Muller, Adrian
ID Code:24506
Deposited On:04 Nov 2013 13:04
Last Modified:19 May 2021 14:08
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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