Nitrous Oxide

Current research programme

The current focus of the NZAGRC’s nitrous oxide (N2O) research programme is on measuring the effects pasture plants and pasture plant communities have on nitrous oxide emissions.

This work is closely aligned to the MBIE P21 and Forages for Nitrate Leaching programmes (FRNL). In addition, an investigative project on a technology to locate and treat urine patches was completed in 2015/16.

Learn more about:

Principal investigators

Dr Cecile de Klein, AgResearch
Professor Hong Di, Lincoln University

Research Stories

Bacteria on leaves: a previously unrecognised source of N2O in grazed pastures

Bowatte, S., P. C. D. Newton, et al. (2015). "Bacteria on leaves: a previously unrecognised source of N2O in grazed pastures." ISME J 9(1): 265-267.


Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from grazed pastures are a product of microbial transformations of nitrogen and the prevailing view is that these only occur in the soil. Here we show this is not the case. We have found ammonia-oxidising bacteria (AOB) are present on plant leaves where they produce N2O just as in soil. AOB (Nitrosospira sp. predominantly) on the pasture grass Lolium perenne converted 0.02-0.42% (mean 0.12%) of the oxidised ammonia to N2O. As we have found AOB to be ubiquitous on grasses sampled from urine patches, we propose a /`plant/' source of N2O may be a feature of grazed grassland.

Read more (external link)


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