Environment

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Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan


Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

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Author(s): Edward Topp and Elizabeth Pattey
Publication Date: January 1, 0000
Reference: Can. J. Soil Sci. 77: 167a
Country: Canada

Summary:

Methane is considered to be a significant greenhouse gas. Methane is produced in soils as the end product of the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. In the absence of oxygen, methane is very stable, but under aerobic conditions it is mineralized to carbon dioxide by methanotrophic bacteria. Soil methane emissions, primarily from natural wetlands, landfills and rice paddies, are estimated to
represent about half of the annual global methane production. Oxidation of atmospheric methane by well-drained soils accounts for about 10% of the global methane sink. Whether a soil is a net source or sink for methane depends on the relative rates of methanogenic and methanotrophic activity. A number of factors including pH, Eh, temperature and moisture content influence methane transforming bacterial populations and soil fluxes. Several techniques are available for measuring methane fluxes. Flux estimation is complicated by spatial and temporal variability. Soil management can impact methane transformations. For example, landfilling of organic matter can result in significant methane emissions, whereas some cultural practices such as nitrogen fertilization inhibit methane oxidation by agricultural soils.

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