Galford Gillian L.
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ArticleModeling nitrous oxide emissions from large-scale intensive cropping systems in the southern Amazon(Frontiers Media, 2021-12-10) Costa, Ciniro ; Galford, Gillian L. ; Coe, Michael T. ; Macedo, Marcia N. ; Jankowski, KathiJo ; O’Connell, Christine ; Neill, ChristopherNitrogen (N) fertilizer use is rapidly intensifying on tropical croplands and has the potential to increase emissions of the greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2O). Since about 2005 Mato Grosso (MT), Brazil has shifted from single-cropped soybeans to double-cropping soybeans with maize, and now produces 1.5% of the world's maize. This production shift required an increase in N fertilization, but the effects on N2O emissions are poorly known. We calibrated the process-oriented biogeochemical DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model to simulate N2O emissions and crop production from soybean and soybean-maize cropping systems in MT. After model validation with field measurements and adjustments for hydrological properties of tropical soils, regional simulations suggested N2O emissions from soybean-maize cropland increased almost fourfold during 2001–2010, from 1.1 ± 1.1 to 4.1 ± 3.2 Gg 1014 N-N2O. Model sensitivity tests showed that emissions were spatially and seasonably variable and especially sensitive to soil bulk density and carbon content. Meeting future demand for maize using current soybean area in MT might require either (a) intensifying 3.0 million ha of existing single soybean to soybean-maize or (b) increasing N fertilization to ~180 kg N ha−1 on existing 2.3 million ha of soybean-maize area. The latter strategy would release ~35% more N2O than the first. Our modifications of the DNDC model will improve estimates of N2O emissions from agricultural production in MT and other tropical areas, but narrowing model uncertainty will depend on more detailed field measurements and spatial data on soil and cropping management.
ArticleHistorical carbon emissions and uptake from the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon(Ecological Society of America, 2011-04) Galford, Gillian L. ; Melillo, Jerry M. ; Kicklighter, David W. ; Mustard, John F. ; Cronin, Timothy W. ; Cerri, Carlos E. P. ; Cerri, Carlos C.Tropical ecosystems play a large and complex role in the global carbon cycle. Clearing of natural ecosystems for agriculture leads to large pulses of CO2 to the atmosphere from terrestrial biomass. Concurrently, the remaining intact ecosystems, especially tropical forests, may be sequestering a large amount of carbon from the atmosphere in response to global environmental changes including climate changes and an increase in atmospheric CO2. Here we use an approach that integrates census-based historical land use reconstructions, remote-sensing-based contemporary land use change analyses, and simulation modeling of terrestrial biogeochemistry to estimate the net carbon balance over the period 1901–2006 for the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, which is one of the most rapidly changing agricultural frontiers in the world. By the end of this period, we estimate that of the state's 925 225 km2, 221 092 km2 have been converted to pastures and 89 533 km2 have been converted to croplands, with forest-to-pasture conversions being the dominant land use trajectory but with recent transitions to croplands increasing rapidly in the last decade. These conversions have led to a cumulative release of 4.8 Pg C to the atmosphere, with 80% from forest clearing and 20% from the clearing of cerrado. Over the same period, we estimate that the residual undisturbed ecosystems accumulated 0.3 Pg C in response to CO2 fertilization. Therefore, the net emissions of carbon from Mato Grosso over this period were 4.5 Pg C. Net carbon emissions from Mato Grosso since 2000 averaged 146 Tg C/yr, on the order of Brazil's fossil fuel emissions during this period. These emissions were associated with the expansion of croplands to grow soybeans. While alternative management regimes in croplands, including tillage, fertilization, and cropping patterns promote carbon storage in ecosystems, they remain a small portion of the net carbon balance for the region. This detailed accounting of a region's carbon balance is the type of foundation analysis needed by the new United Nations Collaborative Programmme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).