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Sci Rep. 2014 Mar 24;4:4444. doi: 10.1038/srep04444.

Sound management may sequester methane in grazed rangeland ecosystems.

Author information

1
College of Ecology and Environmental Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Huhhot 010018, China.
2
Laboratory of Alpine Ecology and Biodiversity, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
3
Jornada Experimental Range, United States Department of Agriculture, Las Cruces, 88003 NM, USA.
4
College of Forest Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Huhhot 010018, China.
5
World Agroforestry Centre, 12 Zhongguancun, Beijing 100081, China.

Abstract

Considering their contribution to global warming, the sources and sinks of methane (CH4) should be accounted when undertaking a greenhouse gas inventory for grazed rangeland ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mitigation potential of current ecological management programs implemented in the main rangeland regions of China. The influences of rangeland improvement, utilization and livestock production on CH4 flux/emission were assessed to estimate CH4 reduction potential. Results indicate that the grazed rangeland ecosystem is currently a net source of atmospheric CH4. However, there is potential to convert the ecosystem to a net sink by improving management practices. Previous assessments of capacity for CH4 uptake in grazed rangeland ecosystems have not considered improved livestock management practices and thus underestimated potential for CH4 uptake. Optimal fertilization, rest and light grazing, and intensification of livestock management contribute mitigation potential significantly.

PMID:
24658176
PMCID:
PMC3963030
DOI:
10.1038/srep04444
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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