Meden Vale, United Kingdom
Meden Vale, United Kingdom

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Alexopoulou E.,Center for Renewable Energy Sources CRES | Cosentino S.L.,University of Catania | Danalatos N.,University of Thessaly | Picco D.,Centro Of Ecologia Teorica Ed Applicata | And 8 more authors.
Green Energy and Technology | Year: 2013

This chapter summarizes the most important achievements of the European research project entitled "BIOKENAF-Biomass Production Chain and Growth Simulation Model for Kenaf" (www.cres.gr/biokenaf) that carried out for 2003-2007. The overall objective of the BIOKENAF project was to introduce and evaluate kenaf as a non-food crop through an integrated approach for alternative land use in South EU that will provide diversified opportunities for farmers and biological materials for the "bio-based industries" of the future. Several fields' trials were carried out in South EU aiming to identify the appropriate crop management for yields maximization (sowing dates, plant densities, best varieties, irrigation and fertilization needs, harvesting time). A dynamic crop-growth simulation model was developed to produce quantitative estimates of the yielding potential of kenaf at regional level. The model was based on the detailed crop data that were collected from the field trials and were included in photosynthetic capacity, respiratory losses, phenology, dry matter distribution, and data on leaf area. The appropriate harvesting time for south EU countries that ensure the highest possible yields with the lowest possible moisture content investigated as well as best storage method in order to the minimum losses in the quality and quantity of the feedstock to be achieved. The suitability of kenaf for both selected industrial products (composites, building materials, nonwovens, paper, and board and absorption particles) and for thermo-chemical energy applications (combustion, gasification, and pyrolysis) was investigated. Following an environmental/economic assessment and market studies insight in the feasibility of kenaf for industrial and energy applications was provided that was used not only for comparison of the crop with other conventional crops with similar cultural practices but also for the development of scenarios for alternative land use and diversified opportunities for farmers in order to produce industrial bio-products that will supply the "bio-based industries" of the future. © Springer-Verlag London 2013.


Barraclough D.,UK Environment Agency | Smith P.,University of Aberdeen | Worrall F.,Durham University | Black H.I.J.,James Hutton Institute | Bhogal A.,ADAS Ltd.
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2015

It is not yet clear how soils are responding to a warming climate. A major study using the National Soil Inventory (NSI) of England and Wales reported large declines in soil carbon concentration across 11 land uses between 1978 and 2003 and concluded there was a link to climate change. However, a second, almost contemporary study, recorded no significant changes, raising the possibility that the reported declines were caused by changes in land use and management rather than by climate change. We have used 'space-for-time' substitution on the data from the initial NSI study, combined with changes in rainfall and temperature over the survey period, to determine the extent to which the declines in soil carbon observed in the second NSI study could be predicted from changes in climate. For organo-mineral and mineral soils, little (0-5%) of the observed decline in carbon concentration can be predicted from changes in climate. In contrast, 9-22% of the changes reported for organic soils in semi-natural habitats are consistent with changes in temperature and rainfall between the two NSI surveys. We also found that carbon concentration in organic soils in semi-natural habitats declines as temperatures exceed 7°C, mirroring independent observations for the decline in bog and dense shrub moor vegetation as temperatures rise above 7°C, and raising the possibility that climate change may influence soil carbon indirectly by changing vegetation cover, and hence litter quality. © 2015 British Society of Soil Science.


Worrall F.,Durham University | Davies H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Burt T.,Durham University | Howden N.J.K.,University of Bristol | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2012

Fluvial dissolved nitrogen (dissolved organic nitrogen [DON], nitrate and ammonium) fluxes from the terrestrial biosphere of the UK to surrounding oceans are explained on the basis of combined predictions of soil to water transfer and in-stream loss. The flux of different nitrogen species from land to surface waters is estimated using an export coefficient model employing catchment soil, land use and hydroclimatic characteristics, fitted to flux estimates derived from the Harmonised Monitoring Scheme between 2001 and 2007 for 169 UK catchments. In-stream losses of DON, nitrate and ammonium were estimated using a transit time filter in the fluvial network. Comparisons of modelled land to water N flux (2125ktonnesNyr -1) with estimates of N fluxes to estuarine and ocean systems at the tidal limit (791ktonnesNyr -1) suggest that significant in-channel N losses occur. These in transit losses are equivalent to up to 55kgNha -1yr -1. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Fitton N.,University of Aberdeen | Ejerenwa C.P.,University of Aberdeen | Bhogal A.,ADAS Ltd | Edgington P.,ADAS Ltd | And 6 more authors.
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2011

The aim of this paper is to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential of croplands and grasslands in Great Britain under different management practices. We consider the feasible land management options for grass and cropland using county level land-use data with estimates of per-area mitigation potential for individual and total GHGs, to identify the land management options with the greatest cost-effective mitigation potential. We show that for grasslands, uncertainties still remain on the mitigation potential because of their climatic sensitivity and also their less intensive management. For croplands in Great Britain, the technical mean GHG mitigation potentials for all cropland management practices range from 17Mt CO2-eq. per 20yr to 39Mt CO2-eq. per 20yr. There are significant regional variation in all cases, with the greatest potentials in England, negligible potential in Wales and intermediate potential in Scotland, with country differences largely driven by the areas of cropland and grassland in each country. Practices such as agronomic improvement and nutrient management are the most promising options because of their impact on N2O emissions and also their larger potential at low cost. In terms of annual emissions from agriculture, calculated mitigation potentials are small, where the technical mitigation potential of agronomy and nutrient management strategies are ca. 4.5 and 3.8%, respectively (agricultural emissions account for ca. 9% or 47.7Mt CO2-eq., of total Great Britain GHG emissions, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK). However when compared with the land use, land-use change and forestry sector (LULUCF) emissions, nutrient management would reduce further emission reductions by approximately half of the 2005 LULUCF sink (i.e. -1.6Mt CO2-eq. per year). © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 British Society of Soil Science.


Smith P.,University of Aberdeen | Bhogal A.,ADAS Ltd | Edgington P.,ADAS Ltd | Black H.,Macaulay Institute | And 5 more authors.
Soil Use and Management | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to assess the consequences of feasible land-use change in Great Britain on GHG emissions mainly through the gain or loss of soil organic carbon. We use estimates of per-area changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, coupled with Great Britain (GB) county-level scenarios of land-use change based on historical land-use patterns or feasible futures to estimate the impact of potential land-use change between agricultural land-uses. We consider transitions between cropland, temporary grassland (<5-yr under grass), permanent grass (>5-yr under grass) and forest. We show that reversion to historical land-use patterns as present in 1930 could result in GHG emission reductions of up to ca. 11-Mt-CO2-eq./yr (relative to a 2004 baseline), because of an increased permanent grassland area. By contrast, cultivation of 20% of the current (2004) permanent grassland area for crop production could result in GHG emission increases of up to ca. 14-Mt-CO2-eq./yr. We conclude that whilst change between agricultural land-uses (transitions between permanent and temporary grassland and cropland) in GB is likely to be a limited option for GHG mitigation, external factors such as agricultural product commodity markets could influence future land-use. Such agricultural land-use change in GB could have significant impacts on Land-use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions, with relatively small changes in land-use (e.g. 5% plough out of grassland to cropland, or reversion of cropland to the grassland cover in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones of 1998) having an impact on GHG emissions of a similar order of magnitude as the current United Kingdom LULUCF sink. In terms of total UK GHG emissions, however, even the most extreme feasible land-use change scenarios account for ca. 2% of current national GHG emissions. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Society of Soil Science.


Worrall F.,Durham University | Davies H.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Bhogal A.,ADAS Ltd. | Lilly A.,Macaulay Institute | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

The estimation of flux of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from the terrestrial biosphere has been of concern because of its importance for the status of carbon storage in soils and the potential impact on atmospheric CO 2 levels. However, these studies have tended to focus on the flux at the tidal limit and from organic soils, without considering the losses at the soil source or processing within the watershed. This study constructs a database of 194 catchments where DOC export was predicted as a function of soil, land-use and hydrological characteristics of each catchment. By comparing across catchments of differing sizes while accounting for the effects of differences in soil and land use this study can estimate the export of DOC at the soil source and the net removal across the watershed. The study can show that although the dominant source of DOC was organic soils, there was significant DOC export from urban and grazed land on mineral and organo-mineral soils, but not from arable land. The average export at source from peat soils was 40±4tonnesC/km 2/yr. The average estimated annual DOC flux between 2001 and 2007 from the UK was 909±354ktonnesC/yr which was within the error of previous estimates. The study was able to estimate the loss of DOC at the soil source as between 3100 and 4000ktonnesC/yr, with a net watershed loss of DOC between 2200 and 3100ktonnesC/yr, equivalent to between 9.0 and 12.7tonnes C/km 2 of UK land area/yr. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..


Bell M.J.,Science Laboratories | Bell M.J.,University of Aberdeen | Worrall F.,Science Laboratories | Smith P.,University of Aberdeen | And 5 more authors.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles | Year: 2011

The contribution of soil organic carbon (SOC) to atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations could increase due to rising temperatures, agricultural land-management, and land-use change. Here the results of a modeling study are presented, which reviews the changing patterns of UK land-use from 1925 to 2007, and estimates the contribution that these changes have had toward UK GHG emissions. The study uses a large database of SOC concentrations from which SOC stocks are estimated for land-uses typical of the UK, and combines this with literature values of transition times for SOC to adjust to a new concentration following land-use change. The model was designed to be used with limited input data, allowing the impacts of historical land-use change, lacking in site specific soil and vegetation change data to be assessed. This study suggests that from 1925 to 2007 the UK's soils have acted as a net carbon sink as a result of land-use change, sequestering a total of 102 Tg C. This represents a 5% net gain in total SOC stocks, and an average increase of 1.9 Tg C/year (inter-quartile range: 0.19-3.12 Tg C/yr). When the reported losses of SOC due to climate change are compared to the gains resulting from land-use change the UK's soils are a sink of carbon, with the gains from land-use change offsetting those due to climate change. This overall sink is the result of an increase in the area of woodland, and conversion of arable land to permanent grassland. The greatest sequestration in any one year occurred in 1993 and coincides with the introduction of set-aside. The largest SOC flux to the atmosphere occurred in 1942 following arable expansion, emitting 12.3 Tg C in one year. This flux is equivalent to almost 10% of the UK's current total GHG emissions, indicating that such land-use change should be avoided in the future if targets to reduce GHG emissions are to be met. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

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