Methodology for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils using non-isotopic techniques

authored by
M. Zaman, K. Kleineidam, L. Bakken, J. Berendt, C. Bracken, K. Butterbach-Bahl, Z. Cai, S. X. Chang, T. Clough, K. Dawar, W. X. Ding, P. Dörsch, M. dos Reis Martins, C. Eckhardt, S. Fiedler, T. Frosch, J. Goopy, C. M. Görres, A. Gupta, S. Henjes, M. E.G. Hofmann, M. A. Horn, M. M.R. Jahangir, A. Jansen-Willems, K. Lenhart, L. Heng, D. Lewicka-Szczebak, G. Lucic, L. Merbold, J. Mohn, L. Molstad, G. Moser, P. Murphy, A. Sanz-Cobena, M. Šimek, S. Urquiaga, R. Well, N. Wrage-Mönnig, S. Zaman, J. Zhang, C. Müller

Several approaches exist for measuring greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly CO2, N2O, and CH4, from soil surfaces. The principle methods that are used to measure GHG from agricultural sites are chamber-based techniques. Both open and closed chamber techniques are in use; however, the majority of field applications use closed chambers. The advantages and disadvantages of different chamber techniques and the principal steps of operation are described. An important part of determining the quality of the flux measurements is the storage and the transportation of the gas samples from the field to the laboratory where the analyses are carried out. Traditionally, analyses of GHGs are carried out via gas chromatographs (GCs). In recent years, optical analysers are becoming increasingly available; these are user-friendly machines and they provide a cost-effective alternative to GCs. Another technique which is still under development, but provides a potentially superior method, is Raman spectroscopy. Not only the GHGs, but also N2, can potentially be analysed if the precision of these techniques is increased in future development. An important part of this chapter deals with the analyses of the gas concentrations, the calculation of fluxes, and the required safety measures. Since non-upland agricultural lands (i.e. flooded paddy soils) are steadily increasing, a section is devoted to the specificities of GHG measurements in these ecosystems. Specialised techniques are also required for GHG measurements in aquatic systems (i.e. rivers), which are often affected by the transfer of nutrients from agricultural fields and therefore are an important indirect source of emission of GHGs. A simple, robust, and more precise method of ammonia (NH3) emission measurement is also described.

Institute of Microbiology
External Organisation(s)
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Justus Liebig University Giessen
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
University of Rostock
University College Dublin
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
CAS - Institute of Atmospheric Physics
International Livestock Research Institute
Nanjing Normal University
University of Alberta
Lincoln University
NWFP Agricultural University
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Embrapa - Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuaria
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Hochschule Geisenheim University
Picarro B.V., Eindhoven
Bangladesh Agricultural University
Münster University of Applied Sciences
University of Wrocław
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (EMPA)
Technical University of Madrid (UPM)
University of South Bohemia
Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries
University of Canterbury
Contribution to book/anthology
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Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Environmental Science(all), Engineering(all), Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
Electronic version(s) (Access: Open)