Plants & GHGs

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

Determining levels of soil carbon storage

An experiment was designed and conducted using a novel 13C stable isotope method to determine how the stabilisation capacity and saturation deficit of different soils affects their ability to store more carbon. Research was also completed describing a rapid, nondestructive method based on mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy to identify the soil carbon stabilisation capacity and saturation deficit of different New Zealand grassland soils.

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