Title: Complementing the top soil information of the Land Use/Land Cover Area Frame Survey (LUCAS) with modelled N2O emissions
Citation: PLOS ONE vol. 12 no. 4 p. e017611
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC103717
ISSN: 1932-6203
URI: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0176111
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176111
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Policy objectives of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP, 2014-2020) in the European Union (EU) are the sustainable management of natural resources and climate action. To face this priorities, the Land Use/Cover statistical Area frame Survey (LUCAS) was created, consisting of direct field observations on land use/cover and soil sub-sampling over time across the EU. While a huge amount of information can be retrieved or derived from LUCAS points for monitoring the environmental status of agroecosystems, a fundamental flow under the climate change action is missing, namely the nitrous oxide (N2O) soil emissions. To fill this gap, we run the DayCent biogeochemistry model driven by LUCAS data in more than 11’000 agricultural sampling points, assessing also the model uncertainty. The results showed annual N2O fluxes following a skewed distribution with mean and median of 2.27 and 1.71 kg N ha-1 yr-1, respectively. By comparing regional emission estimates with a more sophisticated upscaling procedure based on Random Forest regression, we found that the simulations at LUCAS points gave representative results for the majority of the administrative regions. If information on management practices at LUCAS point would be made available and, model bias further reduced by complementing sampling with N2O flux measurement, the combination of the land use/soil survey with a well calibrated biogeochemistry model may become a reference tool to support environmental policies.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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