Project: Mitigating Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions by improved pH management of soils

Acronym MAGGE-pH (Reference Number: 20)
Duration 01/08/2017 - 31/07/2020
Project Topic Climate forcing by crop production is dominated by N2O emissions. Although emissions can be marginally reduced by “good agronomic practice”, we need more targeted approaches to make progress. For that, MAGGE-pH concentrates on the microbial processes responsible for production and consumption of N2O in soils. Our point of departure is the emerging understanding of how soil pH perversively controls the N2O/(N2O+N2) product ratio of denitrification. Since denitrification is the dominant source of N2O, this indicates that N2O emissions from cultivated soils can be reduced substantially by increasing the pH of moderately acidic soils beyond that needed to secure adequate crop growth. This necessitates policy instruments to secure effective implementation, and MAGGE-pH will deliver socio-economic analyses to identify such instruments. The evidence for the pH effect on N2O emissions stems almost exclusively from laboratory experiments. Now we need stringent testing of different liming strategies under realistic field conditions. This will be the core activity in MAGGE-pH and generate emission factors for a range of N fertilizers/manure/urine/biochar applications explicit for soil pH. We will also explore the use of non-calcareous rock powders as a replacement for traditional limes (carbonates). This is highly relevant, because CO2 emissions from carbonates can negate their potential GHG reducing effect. MAGGE-pH will also explore novel approaches to manage soil pH via fertilizers and manure, in order to reduce both N2 O emission and NH3 volatilization. Thus, the project adds some "blue sky” research to the core objectives and puts it to the critically evaluation by a broad European consortium consisting of researchers, fertilizer companies and practitioners.
Website visit project website
Network ERA-GAS
Call ERA-GAS call on monitoring & mitigation of Greenhouse gases from agri- and silvi-culture

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Norwegian University of Life Sciences Coordinator Norway
2 National University of Ireland, Galway Partner Ireland
3 Teagasc - Agriculture and Food Development Authority Partner Ireland
4 Aarhus University Partner Denmark
5 Thuenen Institute Partner Germany
6 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Partner Sweden
7 University of Helsinki Partner Finland
8 Institut National de Recherche en Agronomie Partner France
9 University of Otago Partner New Zealand
10 Natural Environment Research Council Partner United Kingdom