Sound management may sequester methane in grazed rangeland ecosystems

TitleSound management may sequester methane in grazed rangeland ecosystems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWang C, Han G., Wang S, Zhai X, Brown J., Havstad K, Ma X, Wilkes A, Zhao M, Tang S, Zhou P, Jiang Y, Lu T, Wang Z, Li Z
JournalScientific Reports
Start Page4444
Date Published03/2014
ARIS Log Number304812

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.