Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland systems

Junye Wang, Laura M. Cardenas, Tom H. Misselbrook, Steve Cuttle, Rachel E. Thorman, Changsheng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Grazed grassland systems are an important component of the global carbon cycle and also influence global climate change through their emissions of nitrous oxide and methane. However, there are huge uncertainties and challenges in the development and parameterisation of process-based models for grazed grassland systems because of the wide diversity of vegetation and impacts of grazing animals. A process-based biogeochemistry model, DeNitrification- DeComposition (DNDC), has been modified to describe N 2O emissions for the UK from regional conditions. This paper reports a new development of UK-DNDC in which the animal grazing practices were modified to track their contributions to the soil nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. The new version of UK-DNDC was tested against datasets of N 2O fluxes measured at three contrasting field sites. The results showed that the responses of the model to changes in grazing parameters were generally in agreement with observations, showing that N 2O emissions increased as the grazing intensity increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-233
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Mar. 2012


  • Agricultural management
  • Grazed grassland
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Process-based model


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