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Journal Article

Controls and models for estimating direct nitrous oxide emissions from temperate and sub-boreal agricultural mineral soils in Europe


Freibauer,  A.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. E.-D. Schulze, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Freibauer, A., & Kaltschmitt, M. (2003). Controls and models for estimating direct nitrous oxide emissions from temperate and sub-boreal agricultural mineral soils in Europe. Biogeochemistry, 63(1), 93-115.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D045-F
Based on a review of N2O field studies in Europe, major soil, climate and management controls of N2O release from agricultural mineral soils in the European Union have been identified. Data for these N2O emission drivers can easily be gathered from statistical services. Using stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis, empirical first order models of N2O emissions have been established which allow - in contrast to existing large-scale approaches - a regionally disaggregated estimation of N2O emissions at sub-national, national and continental level in the temperate and boreal climate regions of Europe. Arable soils showed lower mean and maximum emissions in oceanic temperate climate ("Temperate West") than in pre- alpine temperate and sub-boreal climate ("Sub-boreal Europe"). Therefore, two separate regression models were developed. Nitrous oxide emissions from arable soils the Temperate West amount to an average flux rate below 2 kg N2O-N ha(-1) yr(-1) and rarely exceed 5 kg N2O-N ha(-1) yr(-1). They are modelled by the parameters fertiliser, topsoil organic carbon and sand content. In Sub-boreal European arable soils, N2O emissions vary in a much wider range between 0 and 27 kg N2O-N ha(-1) yr(-1) in dependence of available nitrogen, represented in the model by fertiliser and topsoil nitrogen content. Compared to existing methods for large scale inventories, the regression models allow a better regional fit to measured values since they integrate additional driving forces for N2O emissions. For grasslands, a fertiliser-based model was established which yields higher emission estimates than existing ones. Due to an extreme variability, no climate, soil nor management parameters could be included in the empirical grasslands model.