Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture

Dali Nayak*, Eli Saetnan, Kun Cheng, Wen Wang, Frank Koslowski, Yan-Fen Cheng, Wei Yun Zhu, Jia-Kun Wang, Jian-Xin Liu, Dominic Moran, Xiaoyuan Yan, Laura Cardenas, Jamie Newbold, Genxing Pan, Yuelai Lui, Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Agriculture accounts for approximately 11% of China's national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through adoption of region-specific best management practices, Chinese farmers can contribute to emission reduction while maintaining food security for its large population (>1300 Million). This paper presents the outcome of a bottom-up assessment to quantify technical potential of mitigation measures for Chinese agriculture using meta-analysis of data from 240 publications for cropland, 67 publications for grassland and 139 publications for livestock, and provides the reference scenario for the cost analysis of identified mitigation measures. Management options with greatest mitigation potential for rice, or rice-based cropping systems are conservation tillage, controlled irrigation; replacement of urea with ammonium sulphate, nitrogen (N) inhibitor application, reduced N fertilizer application, integrated rice-fish-duck farming and biochar application. A 15% reduction in current average synthetic N fertilizer application for rice in China i.e., 231 kg N ha(-1), would result in 12% decrease in direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Combined application of chemical and organic fertilizer, conservation tillage, biochar application and reduced N application are possible measures that can reduce overall GHG emissions from upland cropping systems. Conventional fertilizer inputs for greenhouse vegetables are more than 2-8 times the optimal crop nutrient demand. A 20-40% reduction in N fertilizer application to vegetable crops can reduce N2O emissions by 32-121%, while not negatively impacting the yield. One of the most important mitigation measures for agricultural grasslands could be conversion of low yielding cropland, particularly on slopes, to shrub land or grassland, which is also a promising option to decrease soil erosion. In addition, grazing exclusion and reduced grazing intensity can increase SOC sequestration and decrease overall emissions while improving the largely degraded grasslands. For livestock production, where poor quality forage is commonly fed, improving grazing management and diet quality can reduce methane (CH4) emissions by 11% and 5%, on average. Dietary supplements can reduce CH4 emissions further, with lipids (15% reduction) and tannins or saponins (11% reduction) showing the greatest potential. We also suggest the most economically cost-effective mitigation measures, drawing on related work on the construction of marginal abatement cost curves for the sector. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-124
Number of pages17
JournalAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment
Volume209
Early online date27 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • agriculture
  • management
  • technical potential
  • economic potential
  • cropland
  • grassland
  • livestock
  • MACC
  • China
  • soil organic-carbon
  • land-use change
  • nitrous-oxide emissions
  • direct N2O emissions
  • rice-growing-season
  • methane production
  • Northern China
  • paddy fields
  • biochar amendment
  • meta analysis

Cite this

Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture. / Nayak, Dali; Saetnan, Eli; Cheng, Kun; Wang, Wen; Koslowski, Frank; Cheng, Yan-Fen; Zhu, Wei Yun; Wang, Jia-Kun; Liu, Jian-Xin; Moran, Dominic; Yan, Xiaoyuan; Cardenas, Laura; Newbold, Jamie; Pan, Genxing; Lui, Yuelai; Smith, Pete.

In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 209, 01.11.2015, p. 108-124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nayak, D, Saetnan, E, Cheng, K, Wang, W, Koslowski, F, Cheng, Y-F, Zhu, WY, Wang, J-K, Liu, J-X, Moran, D, Yan, X, Cardenas, L, Newbold, J, Pan, G, Lui, Y & Smith, P 2015, 'Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture', Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, vol. 209, pp. 108-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2015.04.035
Nayak, Dali ; Saetnan, Eli ; Cheng, Kun ; Wang, Wen ; Koslowski, Frank ; Cheng, Yan-Fen ; Zhu, Wei Yun ; Wang, Jia-Kun ; Liu, Jian-Xin ; Moran, Dominic ; Yan, Xiaoyuan ; Cardenas, Laura ; Newbold, Jamie ; Pan, Genxing ; Lui, Yuelai ; Smith, Pete. / Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture. In: Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment. 2015 ; Vol. 209. pp. 108-124.
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abstract = "Agriculture accounts for approximately 11{\%} of China's national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through adoption of region-specific best management practices, Chinese farmers can contribute to emission reduction while maintaining food security for its large population (>1300 Million). This paper presents the outcome of a bottom-up assessment to quantify technical potential of mitigation measures for Chinese agriculture using meta-analysis of data from 240 publications for cropland, 67 publications for grassland and 139 publications for livestock, and provides the reference scenario for the cost analysis of identified mitigation measures. Management options with greatest mitigation potential for rice, or rice-based cropping systems are conservation tillage, controlled irrigation; replacement of urea with ammonium sulphate, nitrogen (N) inhibitor application, reduced N fertilizer application, integrated rice-fish-duck farming and biochar application. A 15{\%} reduction in current average synthetic N fertilizer application for rice in China i.e., 231 kg N ha(-1), would result in 12{\%} decrease in direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Combined application of chemical and organic fertilizer, conservation tillage, biochar application and reduced N application are possible measures that can reduce overall GHG emissions from upland cropping systems. Conventional fertilizer inputs for greenhouse vegetables are more than 2-8 times the optimal crop nutrient demand. A 20-40{\%} reduction in N fertilizer application to vegetable crops can reduce N2O emissions by 32-121{\%}, while not negatively impacting the yield. One of the most important mitigation measures for agricultural grasslands could be conversion of low yielding cropland, particularly on slopes, to shrub land or grassland, which is also a promising option to decrease soil erosion. In addition, grazing exclusion and reduced grazing intensity can increase SOC sequestration and decrease overall emissions while improving the largely degraded grasslands. For livestock production, where poor quality forage is commonly fed, improving grazing management and diet quality can reduce methane (CH4) emissions by 11{\%} and 5{\%}, on average. Dietary supplements can reduce CH4 emissions further, with lipids (15{\%} reduction) and tannins or saponins (11{\%} reduction) showing the greatest potential. We also suggest the most economically cost-effective mitigation measures, drawing on related work on the construction of marginal abatement cost curves for the sector. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
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T1 - Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture

AU - Nayak, Dali

AU - Saetnan, Eli

AU - Cheng, Kun

AU - Wang, Wen

AU - Koslowski, Frank

AU - Cheng, Yan-Fen

AU - Zhu, Wei Yun

AU - Wang, Jia-Kun

AU - Liu, Jian-Xin

AU - Moran, Dominic

AU - Yan, Xiaoyuan

AU - Cardenas, Laura

AU - Newbold, Jamie

AU - Pan, Genxing

AU - Lui, Yuelai

AU - Smith, Pete

N1 - Acknowledgements This work was funded by Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK under the UK–China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN).

PY - 2015/11/1

Y1 - 2015/11/1

N2 - Agriculture accounts for approximately 11% of China's national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through adoption of region-specific best management practices, Chinese farmers can contribute to emission reduction while maintaining food security for its large population (>1300 Million). This paper presents the outcome of a bottom-up assessment to quantify technical potential of mitigation measures for Chinese agriculture using meta-analysis of data from 240 publications for cropland, 67 publications for grassland and 139 publications for livestock, and provides the reference scenario for the cost analysis of identified mitigation measures. Management options with greatest mitigation potential for rice, or rice-based cropping systems are conservation tillage, controlled irrigation; replacement of urea with ammonium sulphate, nitrogen (N) inhibitor application, reduced N fertilizer application, integrated rice-fish-duck farming and biochar application. A 15% reduction in current average synthetic N fertilizer application for rice in China i.e., 231 kg N ha(-1), would result in 12% decrease in direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Combined application of chemical and organic fertilizer, conservation tillage, biochar application and reduced N application are possible measures that can reduce overall GHG emissions from upland cropping systems. Conventional fertilizer inputs for greenhouse vegetables are more than 2-8 times the optimal crop nutrient demand. A 20-40% reduction in N fertilizer application to vegetable crops can reduce N2O emissions by 32-121%, while not negatively impacting the yield. One of the most important mitigation measures for agricultural grasslands could be conversion of low yielding cropland, particularly on slopes, to shrub land or grassland, which is also a promising option to decrease soil erosion. In addition, grazing exclusion and reduced grazing intensity can increase SOC sequestration and decrease overall emissions while improving the largely degraded grasslands. For livestock production, where poor quality forage is commonly fed, improving grazing management and diet quality can reduce methane (CH4) emissions by 11% and 5%, on average. Dietary supplements can reduce CH4 emissions further, with lipids (15% reduction) and tannins or saponins (11% reduction) showing the greatest potential. We also suggest the most economically cost-effective mitigation measures, drawing on related work on the construction of marginal abatement cost curves for the sector. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - Agriculture accounts for approximately 11% of China's national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Through adoption of region-specific best management practices, Chinese farmers can contribute to emission reduction while maintaining food security for its large population (>1300 Million). This paper presents the outcome of a bottom-up assessment to quantify technical potential of mitigation measures for Chinese agriculture using meta-analysis of data from 240 publications for cropland, 67 publications for grassland and 139 publications for livestock, and provides the reference scenario for the cost analysis of identified mitigation measures. Management options with greatest mitigation potential for rice, or rice-based cropping systems are conservation tillage, controlled irrigation; replacement of urea with ammonium sulphate, nitrogen (N) inhibitor application, reduced N fertilizer application, integrated rice-fish-duck farming and biochar application. A 15% reduction in current average synthetic N fertilizer application for rice in China i.e., 231 kg N ha(-1), would result in 12% decrease in direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Combined application of chemical and organic fertilizer, conservation tillage, biochar application and reduced N application are possible measures that can reduce overall GHG emissions from upland cropping systems. Conventional fertilizer inputs for greenhouse vegetables are more than 2-8 times the optimal crop nutrient demand. A 20-40% reduction in N fertilizer application to vegetable crops can reduce N2O emissions by 32-121%, while not negatively impacting the yield. One of the most important mitigation measures for agricultural grasslands could be conversion of low yielding cropland, particularly on slopes, to shrub land or grassland, which is also a promising option to decrease soil erosion. In addition, grazing exclusion and reduced grazing intensity can increase SOC sequestration and decrease overall emissions while improving the largely degraded grasslands. For livestock production, where poor quality forage is commonly fed, improving grazing management and diet quality can reduce methane (CH4) emissions by 11% and 5%, on average. Dietary supplements can reduce CH4 emissions further, with lipids (15% reduction) and tannins or saponins (11% reduction) showing the greatest potential. We also suggest the most economically cost-effective mitigation measures, drawing on related work on the construction of marginal abatement cost curves for the sector. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KW - agriculture

KW - management

KW - technical potential

KW - economic potential

KW - cropland

KW - grassland

KW - livestock

KW - MACC

KW - China

KW - soil organic-carbon

KW - land-use change

KW - nitrous-oxide emissions

KW - direct N2O emissions

KW - rice-growing-season

KW - methane production

KW - Northern China

KW - paddy fields

KW - biochar amendment

KW - meta analysis

U2 - 10.1016/j.agee.2015.04.035

DO - 10.1016/j.agee.2015.04.035

M3 - Article

VL - 209

SP - 108

EP - 124

JO - Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment

JF - Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment

SN - 0167-8809

ER -