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Impact of climate change on soil nitric oxide and nitrous oxide emissions from typical land uses in Scotland

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  • S. Medinets, Odessa National University, Aarhus Universitet
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  • S. White, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • N. Cowan, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • J. Drewer, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • J. Dick, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • M. Jones, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • C. Andrews, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • D. Harvey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
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  • U. Skiba, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Soil emissions of NO and N2O from typical land uses across Lowland and Highland Scotland were simulated under climate change conditions, during a short-term laboratory study. All locations investigated were significant sources of N2O (range: 157-277 µg N2O-N m-2 h-1) and low-to-moderate sources of NO emissions (range: 0.4-30.5 µg NO-N m-2 h-1), with a general tendency to decrease with altitude and increase with fertiliser and atmospheric N inputs. Simulated climate warming and extreme events (drought, intensive rainfall) increased soil NO pulses and N2O emissions from both natural and managed ecosystems in the following order: natural Highlands < natural Lowlands < grazed grasslands < natural moorland receiving high NH3 deposition rates. Largest NO emission rates were observed from natural moorlands exposed to high NH3 deposition rates. Although soil NO emissions were much smaller (6-660 times) than those of N2O, their impact on air quality is likely to increase as combustion sources of NO x are declining as a result of successful mitigation. This study provides evidence of high N emission rates from natural ecosystems and calls for urgent action to improve existing national and intergovernmental inventories for NO and N2O, which at present do not fully account for emissions from natural soils receiving no direct anthropogenic N inputs.

TidsskriftEnvironmental Research Letters
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - maj 2021
Eksternt udgivetJa

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