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The impact of long-term organic farming on soil-derived greenhouse gas emissions

Skinner, Colin ; Gattinger, Andreas ; Krauss, Maike ; Krause, Hans-Martin ; Mayer, Jochen ; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A. ; Mäder, Paul

Originalveröffentlichung: (2019) Scientific Reports 9:1702 doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38207-w
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URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:26-opus-148999

Sammlung: Open Access - Publikationsfonds
Universität Justus-Liebig-Universit√§t Gie√üen
Institut: Institute of Crop Science and Breeding II
Fachgebiet: Agrarwissenschaften und Umweltmanagement
DDC-Sachgruppe: Landwirtschaft
Dokumentart: Aufsatz
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2019
Publikationsdatum: 22.10.2019
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: Agricultural practices contribute considerably to emissions of greenhouse gases. So far, knowledge on the impact of organic compared to non-organic farming on soil-derived nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) emissions is limited. We investigated N2O and CH4 fluxes with manual chambers during 571 days in a grass-clover- silage maize - green manure cropping sequence in the long-term field trial "DOK" in Switzerland. We compared two organic farming systems - biodynamic (BIODYN) and bioorganic (BIOORG) - with two non-organic systems - solely mineral fertilisation (CONMIN) and mixed farming including farmyard manure (CONFYM) - all reflecting Swiss farming practices-together with an unfertilised control (NOFERT). We observed a 40.2% reduction of N2O emissions per hectare for organic compared to non-organic systems. In contrast to current knowledge, yield-scaled cumulated N2O emissions under silage maize were similar between organic and non-organic systems. Cumulated on area scale we recorded under silage maize a modest CH4 uptake for BIODYN and CONMIN and high CH4 emissions for CONFYM. We found that, in addition to N input, quality properties such as pH, soil organic carbon and microbial biomass significantly affected N2O emissions. This study showed that organic farming systems can be a viable measure contributing to greenhouse gas mitigation in the agricultural sector.
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