Climate change effects on northern Spanish grassland-based dairy livestock systems

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Jebari, A., Dela Prado, A., Pardo, G. and Alvaro-Fuentes, J. 2023. Climate change effects on northern Spanish grassland-based dairy livestock systems. Plant and Soil.

AuthorsJebari, A., Dela Prado, A., Pardo, G. and Alvaro-Fuentes, J.

Understanding the effects of climate change on agro-ecosystems is fundamental in order to select the optimum management practices to mitigate environmental pressures. There is a need to forecast greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions of grassland systems under climate change scenarios whilst also accounting for SOC sequestration.

The objective of this study is to assess the net GHG emissions over > 405,000 hectares (ha) of moist temperate Northern Spanish grasslands utilised for dairy production, under climate change conditions (i.e., RCP 4.5, and RCP 8.5), compared to a reference baseline scenario. It is hypothesised that net GHG will increase under climate change conditions and that implementing specific manure management practices (namely the anaerobic digestion (AD)) may mitigate the global warming effect.

We used an integrated modelling framework comprising: (i) geographic information systems (GIS); (ii) a modified RothC version to simulate SOC changes in managed grasslands under moist temperate conditions; and (iii) Tier 2 recent IPCC methods to estimate GHG emissions.

Average net GHG emissions contributed to global warming potential with average emissions of 5.8 and 6.2 Mg CO2-e ha−1 year−1, under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively. Anaerobic digestion allowed net GHG under both climate change scenarios to equal net GHG under the baseline reference scenario.

Under climate change conditions, implementing specific manure management practices, namely AD, will likely reduce the net GHG emissions of the grassland systems associated with dairy production in Northern Spain.

Keywords Soil organic carbon ; Climate change; Upscaling; Net greenhouse gas emissions; Grassland-based dairy systems; Manure management
Year of Publication2023
JournalPlant and Soil
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Feb 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Feb 2023

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