Chapter

Methods for Measuring Greenhouse Gas Balances and Evaluating Mitigation Options in Smallholder Agriculture

pp 71-96

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Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Managed and Natural Soils

  • Klaus Butterbach-BahlAffiliated withInternational Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU) Email author 
  • , Björn Ole SanderAffiliated withInternational Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
  • , David PelsterAffiliated withInternational Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
  • , Eugenio Díaz-PinésAffiliated withKarlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU)

Abstract

Standard methods for quantifying GHG emissions from soils tend to use either micrometeorological or chamber-based measurement approaches. The latter is the most widely used technique, since it can be applied at low costs and without power supply at remote sites to allow measurement of GHG exchanges between soils and the atmosphere for field trials. Instrumentation for micrometeorological measurements meanwhile is costly, requires power supply and a minimum of 1 ha homogeneous, flat terrain. In this chapter therefore we mainly discuss the closed chamber methodology for quantifying soil GHG fluxes. We provide detailed guidance on existing measurement protocols and make recommendations for selecting field sites, performing the measurements and strategies to overcome spatial variability of fluxes, and provide knowledge on potential sources of errors that should be avoided. As a specific example for chamber-based GHG measurements we discuss sampling and measurement strategies for GHG emissions from rice paddies.