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Field with Bob Rees

NitroEurope is a recently completed large European Integrated Project that aimed to improve our understanding of the contribution that nitrogen makes to the net greenhouse gas budgets of Europe. The project involved 60 partner organisations from across Europe, and over 160 scientists. SRUC was a core partner within the project and is using aligned Scottish Government funding to address a range of objectives.

The project has a number of objectives:

Quantify the net greenhouse gas emissions from grazed and cut grasslands in the SW of Scotland. Work is being undertaken at a number of sites on SRUC's Crichton farm to measure greenhouse gases over a period of 2 years under typical management scenarios for the SW of Scotland.

Quantify the net greenhouse gas emissions from an organically managed rotation at SRUC's organic farm at Tulloch in Aberdeen. Measurements of the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide are being made across 6 years of the rotational experiment in order to characterise the greenhouse gas balance. A comparison is being made with similarly managed organic experiments in Denmark and Sweden.

Improve models of greenhouse gas exchange between land surfaces and the atmosphere. Work is being undertaken in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire and the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research in Germany to develop improved processed based models of greenhouse gas exchange at a field scale. Using state of the art ecosystem models of nutrient exchange between farming systems and their environment, we are using data collected from SRUC's experimental sites to help to improve our ability to model greenhouse gas exchange. These models will then be used to test scenarios that can used within farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to predict the affects of future climate and management.

Develop improved models of greenhouse gas emissions at a landscape scale. In order to upscale emission of greenhouse gases to landscape and national scales we are using a landscape to the south of Edinburgh to develop a detailed inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient exchange.  The work involves input from Consultancy Division in collecting and interpreting data from individual farmers within a 6 x 6 km grid square. The area includes a diverse range of land use including intensive animal production, forestry sheep farming and areas of extensive grassland and peat bogs. The data will be used to develop landscape scale models of greenhouse gas emission which will then be used to inform national inventories.

SRUC will organise an international summer school in June 2008 to provide training and support for young scientists involved in the project from across Europe. The summer school will involve talks and training sessions from established international scientists, and will help to develop knowledge and skills that will be necessary to develop the overall project objectives.

SRUC co-ordinates the work-package on greenhouse gas emissions from  arable manipulation experiments across Europe. This involves co-ordination and reporting of data 6 European sites in which a range of experiments are being undertaken.

NitroEurope will advance the fundamental understanding of C-N interactions at different scales and deliver process-based models, landscape-level assessments, European maps of C-N pools, Nr fluxes and NGE, and independent verification of GHG inventories, as required under the Kyoto Protocol.

Further Information

To find out more about European Nitrogen Assessment.

Total Funding: £571,739

Funders - European Union and the Scottish Government

Research Partners - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Lead partner) plus 60 other European research partners 

Prof Bob Rees

Professor of Agriculture & Climate Change / Head of Carbon Management Centre

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4365


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