Quantification of the components of the carbon budget at farm scale

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Resource or Project Abstract

Grassland is the dominant land use in Ireland. There is a need to understand the carbon (C) sequestration status of these ecosystems in order to support national commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and it?s Kyoto Protocol. This study investigated the farm scale C balance at the Celticflux study site in Co. Cork, Ireland. Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were compared in new and permanent grassland using a chamber based experiment. Cumulative values of gross primary production (GPP), total respiration (RTOT) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in the new grassland were 2.14, -1.98 and 0.15 kg C m-2 yr-1 respectively. In the permanent grassland cumulative values of GPP, RTOT and NEE were 2.90, -2.52 and 0.38 kg C m-2 yr-1 respectively. RTOT was partitioned into heterotrophic (RH) and autotrophic respiration (RA). During the period from late May until mid-August RH and RA both accounted for, on average, 50% of RTOT. During the rest of the year RH and RA represented, on average, 62 and 38% of RTOT respectively. The farm scale C balance was quantified by combining results of on-site eddy covariance studies with farm management data and emission factors derived from published literature. This assessment found that grassland is a sink for ~2 t C ha-1 yr-1. There is a need for further research to partition this sink between the amounts sequestered in the soil and the vegetation. There is also a need to quantify the major components of the farm C balance and to upscale site level studies to regional and national level.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Kenneth Byrne
University College Cork Ireland

Prof. Gerard Kiely
University College Cork Ireland

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End of Project Report    STRIVE_Byrne_CarbonBudget_epr.pdf  (0.39 Mb)

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Author(s)Byrne, K. Kiely, G.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationQuantification of the components of the carbon budget at farm scale
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL https://eparesearch.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=68347250-225a-102c-b381-901ddd016b14
Unique Identifier68347250-225a-102c-b381-901ddd016b14
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2024-06-21

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Byrne, K. Kiely, G.   "Quantification of the components of the carbon budget at farm scale". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland https://eparesearch.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=68347250-225a-102c-b381-901ddd016b14 (Last Accessed: 2024-06-21)


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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL https://eparesearch.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=100
Resource KeywordsGrassland sequestration carbon farm Celticflux Dripsey
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2003-FS-CD-LS-17
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeLand-use, Soils, and Transport
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAuthors should be cited in any derived publications
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 1
Project Start Date Thursday 1st January 2004 (01-01-2004)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st March 2004 (01-03-2004)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Saturday 1st October 2005 (01-10-2005)
Published on SAFERTuesday 23rd December 2008 (23-12-2008)
Date of Last EditTuesday 23rd December 2008 at 16:05:51 (23-12-2008)
Datasets or Files Updated On Tuesday 23rd December 2008 at 16:05:51 (23-12-2008)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
For this sub-project two study sites were selected. Site A was previously grassland and a new pasture was established, following ploughing and cultivation in Autumn 2003. Site B is a permanent 15-year-old pasture. The dominant grass species in both sites is perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) with smaller amounts of Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis L.) and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus L.) The study area is 180 m above sea level and the climate is temperate maritime with an average annual rainfall of 1470 mm. The soil type is gley and soil properties are similar in both sites.

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
The EPA funded Celticflux project was set up to make eddy covariance based measurements of CO2 and N2O at a grassland site at Dripsey, Co. Cork and a peatland site at Glencar, Co. Kerry. This study (EPA Post-doctoral Fellowship 2003-CD-LS-FS-13) was established in support of Celticflux and was divided into the following sub-projects: 1. CO2 fluxes in adjacent new and permanent grasslands 2. Partitioning of respiration in an intensively managed grassland 3. Carbon sequestration determined using farm carbon balance and eddy covariance
Supplementary Information
All plots received an equivalent fertiliser application of 300 kg N ha-1 divided into eight equal applications at intervals of four weeks from 1 March to 13 September. Grass height was measured weekly in all plots from 29 March to 15 November. CO2 fluxes were measured in grass free plots one or two times per week during the period March 2004 to March 2005.
This Carbon sequestration study was located at the Celticflux grassland site in Cork, south west Ireland (Jaksic et al. 2006). This is the same site as used for the studies described in Chapter 2 and 3. In addition to the description provided in Chapter 2 the following information is pertinent to this subproject. The dominant grass species is perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) with smaller amounts of Meadow foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis L.) and Yorkshire-fog (Holcus lanatus L.). Fields vary in size from one to five hectares and are grazed intensively by dairy and beef cattle between April and October each year. Cattle are housed for the remaining five months of the year. Approximately 50% of the fields are cut for silage, twice a year, typically in June and September. Grass production rates are in the range 7.6 - 14 t DM ha-1 yr-1 (Byrne et al. 2005). The grazing season lasts from the end of March to mid-October. The site was instrumented with two eddy covariance systems for the measurement of CO2 and N2O fluxes. For a full description of the EC systems, data processing and gap filling procedures in relation to CO2 and N2O see Jaksic et al. (2006) and Leahy et al. (2004) respectively.
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