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The impact of long-term organic farming on soil-derived greenhouse gas emissions

Skinner, Colin; Gattinger, Andreas; Krauss, Maike; Krause, Hans-Martin; Mayer, Jochen; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A. and Mäder, Paul (2019) The impact of long-term organic farming on soil-derived greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific Reports, 9 (1702), pp. 1-10.

[thumbnail of skinner-etal-2019-ScientificReports-article-s41598-018-38207-w.pdf] PDF - English

Document available online at: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-38207-w


Agricultural practices contribute considerably to emissions of greenhouse gases. so far, knowledge on the impact of organic compared to non-organic farming on soil-derived nitrous oxide (N2o) and methane (CH4) emissions is limited. We investigated N2o and CH4 fluxes with manual chambers during 571 days in a grass-clover– silage maize – green manure cropping sequence in the long-term field trial “DOK” in Switzerland. We compared two organic farming systems – biodynamic (BIODYN) and bioorganic (BIOORG) – with two non-organic systems – solely mineral fertilisation (CONMIN) and mixed farming including farmyard manure (CONFYM) – all reflecting Swiss farming practices–together with an unfertilised control (NOFERT). We observed a 40.2% reduction of N2o emissions per hectare for organic compared to non-organic systems. In contrast to current knowledge, yield-scaled cumulated N2o emissions under silage maize were similar between organic and non-organic systems. Cumulated on area scale we recorded under silage maize a modest CH4 uptake for BIODYN and CONMIN and high CH4emissions for CONFYM. We found that, in addition to N input, quality properties such as pH, soil organic carbon and microbial biomass significantly affected N2o emissions. this study showed that organic farming systems can be a viable measure contributing to greenhouse gas mitigation in the agricultural sector.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:greenhouse gas emissions, climate, DOK, organic farming systems
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Switzerland > Agroscope
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Climate
Germany > University of Gießen
Deposited By: Gattinger, Dr. Andreas
ID Code:36350
Deposited On:15 Aug 2019 09:13
Last Modified:19 May 2021 14:07
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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