The NZAGRC’s former nitrous oxide and soil carbon work streams were combined into one programme this year. This ensures a strong overall framework, closer communication and full GHG analyses across the programme. The programme focusses on three key areas:
1. Identifying and prioritising plant traits for low GHG emissions;
2. Mitigation practices to maintain soil carbon and reduce nitrous oxide emissions at paddock scale; and
3. Defining the achievable soil carbon stabilisation capacity of New Zealand grassland soils.
Current progress and research stories
The opportunity to work with the Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) made it an easy decision for German PhD student Anne Wecking to move to the other side of the world.
“It’s a privilege to work with a piece of technology like this—the way it functions is pretty fancy and its implication on future greenhouse gas inventories might mean we can reconsider our current ways of budgeting the emissions of nitrous oxide.”
Anne’s PhD is about the quantification and mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions from grazed pastures, and is supervised by Professor Schipper.
“The QCL provides us with continuous and precise data about the amount of nitrous oxide present in the surface near atmosphere. In combination with wind data, we can integrate emissions over hectares,” she says. “This is a great technological advance forward, and is helping us to further understand what’s happening on the farm scale.”
Read more about the QCL
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