Project properties

Title Mitigating N2O emissions from grasslands during extreme weather events using a plant trait-based approach
Group Soil Biology
Project type thesis
Credits 24-39
Supervisor(s) Gerlinde De Deyn
Examiner(s) Rachel Creamer
Contact info
Begin date 2019/02/01
End date
Description Intensively managed grasslands are an ecologically and economically important agroecosystem, and are more than half of all agricultural land. Due to nitrogen fertilization, they are also large sources of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Increased occurrences of extreme weather events, such as extreme precipitation leading to floods, can dramatically increase N2O emissions, while threatening the survival of these grasslands. Thus, there is an urgent need for more resilient agroecosystems that use nitrogen efficiently under changing and more variable climatic conditions. Recent research has shown that plant traits, characteristics of a plant species, can explain a plant’s nutrient uptake and tolerance to disturbances. A key outstanding question is if and how plant traits can mitigate N2O emissions during flooding. In a greenhouse experiment, you will have the chance to study the functional traits of 12 plant species and test how traits relate with N2O emissions. You will join the vibrant and active community of the Soil Biology Group, and get the chance to tailor your project with your key interests within the scope of this design.
Used skills literature review, measurement of soil nitrogen, pH, plant nitrogen and carbon content, plant shoot and root traits, measurement of greenhouse gas emissions, data analysis, scientific writing, problem solving, critical thinking.
Requirements Biological Interactions in Soils