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
Potential inhibition of urine patch nitrous oxide emissions by Plantago lanceolata and its metabolite aucubin
Gardiner, C. A., Clough, T. J., Cameron, K. C., Di, H. J., Edwards, G. R., & de Klein, C. A. M. (2017). Potential inhibition of urine patch nitrous oxide emissions by Plantago lanceolata and its metabolite aucubin. [Article in Press]. New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research, 1-9.
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.), a forage used in grazed pastures, contains active secondary metabolites that could potentially inhibit nitrification, a key step in nitrous oxide (N2O) production from grazing ruminant livestock urine patches. A field study was performed to determine the effects of aucubin, a secondary metabolite in plantain, on nitrification and soil N2O emissions under a ruminant urine patch. Soils were treated with bovine urine (700 kg ha−1) and either a plantain leaf extract (PLE), which contained all extractable compounds in plantain including aucubin, or an aucubin solution (AS). PLE and AS were applied at the same rate of aucubin (47 kg ha−1). N2O emissions were reduced by 50% and 70% in the PLE and AS treatments, respectively; however, there were no significant differences in soil inorganic nitrogen concentrations when urine was applied with PLE or AS.
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