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

Establishment of Aporrectodea longa and measurement of dung carbon incorporation in soils under permanent pasture

Schon, N. L., A. D. Mackay, et al. (2016). "Establishment of Aporrectodea longa and measurement of dung carbon incorporation in soils under permanent pasture." European Journal of Soil Biology 75: 174-179.

Earthworm populations often have a large biomass in pasture soils and can significantly accelerate the disappearance of organic matter from the soil surface and its accumulation in soil layers. This field study investigated the influence of the anecic earthworm Aporrectodea longa on bulk soil C in permanent pastures two years after their introduction. We used the approach of measuring soil C and 13C after the application of C-enriched dung to paddocks with and without established A. longa populations (∼50 m−2). At three sites with differing soil types, dung incorporation into the soil was limited, suggesting that densities were still too low to influence bulk soil C. In a fourth pasture where A. longa had been present for 23 years, and had reached a density of 190 m−2, more dung-derived C was detected to 300 mm depth in the soil profile compared with the control without A. longa. 

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