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Climate 2016, 4(4), 62;

Nitrous Oxide and Methane Fluxes from Smallholder Farms: A Scoping Study in the Anjeni Watershed

Cooperative Agricultural Research Center, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX 77446, USA
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
Soil Geography and Landscape Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
School of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, P. O. Box 527, Ethiopia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Angelika Ploeger, Sisira S. Withanachchi, Engin Koncagul and Yang Zhang
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change on Crops, Foods and Diets)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1580 KB, uploaded 11 December 2016]   |  


While agricultural practices are widely reported to contribute to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there are only limited measurements available for emission rates in the monsoon climate of the African continent. We conducted a scoping study to measure nitrous oxide (N2O-N) and methane (CH4) emission rates from 24 plots constructed on smallholder agricultural farms along the slope catena of three transects in the sub-humid Anjeni watershed in the Ethiopian highlands. Greenhouse gas flux samples were collected in 2013, before, towards the end, and after the rainy monsoon phase. At each location, three plots were installed in groups: two plots grown with barley (one enriched with charcoal and the other without soil amendment) and lupine was grown on the third plot without any soil amendment. Preliminary study results showed that nitrous oxide emission rates varied from −275 to 522 μg·m−2·h−1 and methane emissions ranged from −206 to 264 μg·m−2·h−1 with overall means of 51 and 5 μg·m−2·h−1 for N2O-N and CH4, respectively. Compared with the control, charcoal and lupine plots had elevated nitrous oxide emissions. Plots amended with charcoal showed on average greater methane uptake than was emitted. While this study provides insights regarding nitrous oxide and methane emission levels from smallholder farms, studies of longer durations are needed to verify the results. View Full-Text
Keywords: Africa; biochar; charcoal; greenhouse gas; lupine Africa; biochar; charcoal; greenhouse gas; lupine

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Bayabil, H.K.; Stoof, C.R.; Mason, C.; Richards, B.K.; Steenhuis, T.S. Nitrous Oxide and Methane Fluxes from Smallholder Farms: A Scoping Study in the Anjeni Watershed. Climate 2016, 4, 62.

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