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Robust models for assessing the effectiveness of technologies and managements to reduce N2O emissions from grazed pastures (Models4Pastures)

English title Robust models for assessing the effectiveness of technologies and managements to reduce N2O emissions from grazed pastures (Models4Pastures)
Applicant Merbold Lutz
Number 154245
Funding scheme FACCE Joint Programming Initiative
Research institution Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Start/End 01.12.2014 - 30.11.2018
Approved amount 212'062.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Climatology. Atmospherical Chemistry, Aeronomy
Pedology

Keywords (4)

Greenhouse Gases; Mitigation; Soils; Agriculture

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Landwirtschaftliche Anbausysteme wie Weiden verzeichnen erhebliche Verluste an Stickstoff in Form von Lachgas, einem der vier wichtigsten Treibhausgase. Das Forschungsteam von Lutz Merbold sucht in Zusammenarbeit mit internationalen Partnern nach Möglichkeiten, die derzeit verfügbaren Modelle zur Abschätzung von Lachgas-Emissionen aus landwirtschaftlich genutzten Böden zu verbessern.
Lay summary

Lachgas ist eines der vier wichtigsten Treibhausgase in der Atmosphäre. Es entsteht unter anderem in Böden und entweicht von dort direkt in die Atmosphäre. Anbausysteme wie Weiden verzeichnen erhebliche Verluste an Stickstoff in Form von Lachgas. Kenntnisse über die räumlichen und zeitlichen Unterschiede der N2O-Emissionen von Weidesystemen sind rar. Kontinuierliche und zeitlich hochaufgelöste Messungen des Lachgas-Austausches sind schwierig, aktuelle Modellschätzungen ungenau. Die Modellierung wird nicht zuletzt erschwert durch selektives Abgrasen der Tiere und die damit verbundene Verlagerung von Nährstoffen auf relativ kleine Flächen in Form von Mist- und Urin-Flecken. Zwar sind verschiedene Simulationsmodelle für Weidesysteme verfügbar. Bisher existieren jedoch wenige Studien zum Vergleich der Modelle. Diese Vergleiche sind jedoch essenziell, um die Werkzeuge verbessern zu können, mit denen potenzielle Optionen zur Verminderung von Lachgas-Emissionen bewertet werden können.

Das Projekt «Models4Pastures», an dem das Team von Lutz Merbold zusammen mit internationalen Partnern arbeitet, zielt darauf ab, die derzeit verfügbaren Modelle zu verbessern. Dabei werden nicht nur die Leistungen verschiedener Modelle verglichen, sondern auch Lachgas-Emissionen einzelner Weideflächen quantifiziert. Zudem wird getestet, wie gut die einzelnen Modelle einen Datensatz von kontinuierlichen, zeitlich hochaufgelösten Lachgas-Gasaustauschmessungen von Weiden in der Schweiz wiedergeben können. Das neu gewonnene Wissen wird in die vorhandenen Modelle implementiert und dadurch die Vorhersage der Lachgas-Emissionen verbessert. In einem letzten Schritt werden die Modelle genutzt, um verschiedene Emissionsreduktionsszenarien zu evaluieren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.05.2014

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les systèmes de culture comme les pâturages enregistrent des pertes considérables d’azote sous forme de gaz hilarant, l’un des quatre principaux gaz à effet de serre. L’équipe de recherche de Lutz Merbold, en collaboration avec des partenaires internationaux, cherche des possibilités d’améliorer les modèles actuellement disponibles pour évaluer les émissions de gaz hilarant provenant des sols agricoles.
Lay summary

Le gaz hilarant est l’un des quatre principaux gaz à effet de serre. Il se forme notamment dans les sols et s’échappe dans l’atmosphère. Les systèmes de culture comme les pâturages enregistrent des pertes considérables d’azote sous forme de gaz hilarant. Mais les connaissances sont rares sur les différences d’émissions de gaz hilarant par les systèmes pastoraux. Il est difficile de réaliser des mesures continues et à haute résolution temporelle des échanges de gaz hilarant et les estimations actuelles, fondées sur des modèles, sont imprécises. La difficulté de modélisation est accrue notamment par le broutage sélectif des animaux et par le déplacement qu’il implique des nutriments vers des surfaces relativement réduites. Divers modèles de simulation sont certes disponibles pour les systèmes pastoraux, mais il existe à ce jour peu d’études qui comparent ces modèles. Ces comparaisons sont toutefois essentielles pour pouvoir améliorer les outils permettant d’évaluer les options éventuelles de réduction des émissions de gaz hilarant.

Le projet « Models4Pastures », auquel travaille l’équipe de Lutz Merbold avec des partenaires internationaux, vise à améliorer les modèles actuellement disponibles. Il comparera non seulement la performance de différents modèles, mais quantifiera aussi les émissions de gaz hilarant de certains pâturages. Il testera en outre la capacité des différents modèles à reproduire un jeu de mesures des échanges de N2O, continues et à haute résolution temporelle, sur des pâturages suisses. Les nouvelles connaissances acquises seront implémentées dans les modèles existants, ce qui améliorera la prévision des émissions de gaz hilarant. La dernière étape consistera à utiliser ces modèles pour évaluer différents scénarios de réduction des émissions.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.05.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Agricultural cultivation systems such as grazed pastures are characterized by considerable nitrogen losses in the form nitrous oxide, one of the four most important greenhouse gases. In cooperation with international partners, Lutz Merbold and his research team are seeking possible ways to improve currently available models to estimate nitrous oxide emissions from grazed pastures.
Lay summary

Nitrous oxide is one of the four most important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is produced, among other ways, in soils and released from there into the atmosphere. Agricultural cultivation systems like grazed pastures show considerable nitrogen losses in the form of nitrous oxide. However, little is known about the spatial and temporal differences between pasture systems in nitrous oxide emissions. Continuous and high resolution time measurements of N2O exchange are difficult to make; current model estimates are extremely inaccurate. The modelling of livestock grazing systems is also made more difficult by the animals’ selective grazing and the associated displacement of system nutrients to relatively small patches of dung and urine. Various simulation models are available for grazed pasture systems but only a few studies have compared the models. Comparisons are essential, however, so that we can improve the tools for assessing potential mitigation options of nitrous oxide emissions.

The project “Models4Pastures”, on which Lutz Merbold and his team are working in cooperation with international partners, aims to improve the currently available models. The researchers will not only compare the performance of different models but also quantify the nitrous oxide emissions of individual grazing areas. In addition, they will test how useful the different models are to describe a recently collected dataset of continuous, high resolution time measurements of nitrous oxide gas exchange of pasture land in Switzerland. The newly gained knowledge will be implemented in the existing models, which will improve the prediction of nitrous oxide emissions of pastures. In a final step, the improved models will be used for evaluation of various emission reduction scenarios.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Standardisation of eddy-covariance flux measurements of methane and nitrous oxide
Nemitz Eiko, Mammarella Ivan, Ibrom Andreas, Aurela Mika, Burba George G., Dengel Sigrid, Gielen Bert, Grelle Achim, Heinesch Bernard, Herbst Mathias, Hörtnagl Lukas, Klemedtsson Leif, Lindroth Anders, Lohila Annalea, McDermitt Dayle K., Meier Philip, Merbold Lutz, Nelson David, Nicolini Giacomo, Nilsson Mats B., Peltola Olli, Rinne Janne, Zahniser Mark (2018), Standardisation of eddy-covariance flux measurements of methane and nitrous oxide, in International Agrophysics, 32(4), 517-549.
The use of biogeochemical models to evaluate mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands
SandorR., EhrhardtF., BrilliL., Carozzi M., RecousS., SmithP., SnowV., SoussanaJF., DorichCD., FuchsK., FittonN., GongadzeK., KlumppK., LiebigM., MartinR., MerboldL., NewtonP., ReesRM., RolinksiS., BellocchiG (2018), The use of biogeochemical models to evaluate mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands, in Science of the Total Environment, 642, 292-306.
Management matters: testing a mitigation strategy for nitrous oxide emissions using legumes on intensively managed grassland
Fuchs Kathrin, Hörtnagl Lukas, Buchmann Nina, Eugster Werner, Snow Val, Merbold Lutz (2018), Management matters: testing a mitigation strategy for nitrous oxide emissions using legumes on intensively managed grassland, in Biogeosciences, 15(18), 5519-5543.
Greenhouse gas fluxes over managed grasslands in Central Europe
Hörtnagl Lukas, Barthel Matti, Buchmann Nina, Eugster Werner, Butterbach-Bahl Klaus, Díaz-Pinés Eugenio, Zeeman Matthias, Klumpp Katja, Kiese Ralf, Bahn Michael, Hammerle Albin, Lu Haiyan, Ladreiter-Knauss Thomas, Burri Susanne, Merbold Lutz (2018), Greenhouse gas fluxes over managed grasslands in Central Europe, in Global Change Biology, 24(5), 1843-1872.
Assessing uncertainties in crop and pasture ensemble model simulations of productivity and N 2 O emissions
Ehrhardt Fiona, Soussana Jean‐François, Bellocchi Gianni, Grace Peter, McAuliffe Russel, Recous Sylvie, Sándor Renáta, Smith Pete, Snow Val, de Antoni Migliorati Massimiliano, Basso Bruno, Bhatia Arti, Brilli Lorenzo, Doltra Jordi, Dorich Christopher D., Doro Luca, Fitton Nuala, Giacomini Sandro J., Grant Brian, Harrison Matthew T., Jones Stephanie K., Kirschbaum Miko U. F., Klumpp Katja, Laville Patricia, Leonard J., LiebigL., LiefferingM., MartinR., MassadRS., MeierE., MerboldL., MooreAD., MyrgiotisV., NewtonP., PatteyE., RolinskiS, SharpJ., SmithW, WuL, ZhangQ (2017), Assessing uncertainties in crop and pasture ensemble model simulations of productivity and N 2 O emissions, in Global Change Biology, 24(2), e603-e616.
C and N models Intercomparison – benchmark and ensemble model estimates for grassland production
Sándor R., Ehrhardt F., Basso B., Bellocchi G., Bhatia A., Brilli L., Migliorati M. De Antoni, Doltra J., Dorich C., Doro L., Fitton N., Giacomini S. J., Grace P., Grant B., Harrison M. T., Jones S., Kirschbaum M. U. F., Klumpp K., Laville P., Léonard J., Liebig M., Lieffering M., Martin R., McAuliffe R., Meier E., MerboldL., Moore A., MyrgiotisV., NewtonP., Pattey E., RecousS., RolinskiS., SharpJ., MassadRS., SmithP., SmithW., SnowV., WuL., ZhangQ., SoussanaJF. (2016), C and N models Intercomparison – benchmark and ensemble model estimates for grassland production, in Advances in Animal Biosciences, 7(03), 245-247.
Eddy covariance for quantifying trace gas fluxes from soils
Eugster Werner and Merbold Lutz (2015), Eddy covariance for quantifying trace gas fluxes from soils, in SOIL, 1(1), 187-205.
First on-line isotopic characterization of N2O above intensively managed grassland
Wolf Benjamin, Merbold Lutz, Decock Charlotte, et al. (2015), First on-line isotopic characterization of N2O above intensively managed grassland, in Biogeosciences, 12, 2517-2531.

Datasets

FLUXNET2015 CH-Cha Chamau

Author Hoertnagl, Lukas; Merbold, Lutz; Fuchs, Kathrin
Publication date 01.04.2016
Persistent Identifier (PID) http://sites.fluxdata.org/CH-Cha
Repository FLuxnet
Abstract
This is the FLUXNET2015 version of the carbon flux data for the site CH-Cha Chamau. Site Description - intensively managed grassland in the lowlands of switzerland

Dataset from the Chamau Nitrous Oxide Mitigation Experiment 2015-2016

Author Fuchs, K
Publication date 13.09.2018
Persistent Identifier (PID) 10.13039/501100001711
Repository ETH Zurich Research Collection


Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University Court of the University of Aberdeen, Kairsty Topp, Laura Cardenas and Pete Smith Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Innsbruck Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
AgResearch Limited, Val Snow New Zealand (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
INRA, Grassland Ecosysteme Research Unite (UR874), Katja Klumpp France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Florence, Department of Agri-food Production and Environmental Sciences, Marco Bindi Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Gothenburg University Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
KIT/IMK-IFU Biogeochemical Processes Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Kolloquium Forschungsprojekte LULUCF (Treibhausgasinventar) Talk given at a conference Nitrous oxide exchange on intensively managed grassland - Eddy covariance measurements from the Chamau field site 01.12.2016 Bern, Switzerland Merbold Lutz; Buchmann Nina; Fuchs Kathrin;
19th Nitrogen workshop - Efficient use of different uses of nitrogen in agriculture - from theory to praxis Poster Management matters: Testing a mitigation strategy of nitrous oxide emissions on managed grassland 27.06.2016 Skara, Sweden Fuchs Kathrin;
Swiss Global Change Day Poster Management matters: Testing a mitigation strategy of nitrous oxide emissions on managed grassland 12.04.2016 Bern, Switzerland Buchmann Nina; Merbold Lutz; Fuchs Kathrin;
NORA-ICOS-SITES workshop - Gas flux measurements in terrestrial ecosystems - state of the art and emerging technologies Talk given at a conference No memory effects of restoration on N2O exchange above an intensively managed grassland in Switzerland 11.05.2015 Gothenburg, Sweden Merbold Lutz; Fuchs Kathrin;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Mehr Klee – Weniger Treibhausgase? German-speaking Switzerland 2018

Awards

Title Year
Swiss Global Change Day - Poster Award - Atmosphere/Hydrosphere (awards sponsered by the ACP, the Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, SCNAT) 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
173691 ICOS-CH Phase 2 01.07.2017 Research Infrastructure
172121 Evaluation of modelled nitrous oxide emissions from a legume-based mitigation option on temperate grassland 01.04.2017 Doc.Mobility
172433 Reconciling innovative farming practices and networks to enable sustainable development of smart Swiss farming systems 01.01.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy

Abstract

Models4Pastures will test, improve, and then use, simulation models to provide robust assessments of the impact of N2O mitigation options in grassland systems across a large geographic and climatic range. Our models and assessments will take into account the effects of the mitigation option, and its follow-on consequences (e.g. changes in grazing intensity) for other gases to understand the net ecosystem effect, food production and variability of production, and the effects on the ability of the soil to sustain production. This work will be done in the company of current and proposed FACCE-JPI projects and other international activities.We will use model inter-comparisons and development to provide improved tools for climatechange research. In our case we will concentrate on exploring N2O mitigation options for grassland systems and the flow-on impacts of those mitigations on the ability of the soil to sustain production and on the needs for changed inputs or management of the grasslands. The inclusion of New Zealand and European teams provides a wide range of datasets, including a new dataset collected at high temporal resolution and covering different climatic conditions and management practices, and a range of models that have different formulation (assumptions and parameters) and approaches. This is the ideal situation to explore the most effective model features and develop models that are robust across a range of situations that is as wide as possible.The suite of diverse models also forms an ideal ensemble with which to approach the study ofmitigation options. We expect that this combined approach (challenging/improving existing models and ensemble modelling) will result in modelling tools that can be used with confidence by scientists and mitigation assessments that policymakers can be assured are robust. Because many of the scientists in our project are also involved in other modelling inter-comparison initiatives we expect our findings will be rapidly and effectively disseminated to end users who will initially be other scientists wishing to explore potential mitigation options and their consequences.
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