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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Distribution and cultivation intensity of agricultural organic soils in Sweden and an estimation of greenhouse gas emissions

Berglund Örjan, Berglund Kerstin

Abstract

Digitised maps of Quaternary deposits, 40K radiation and agricultural databases (IACS) were used to estimate the distribution and land use of agricultural organic soils in Sweden. The total area of agricultural land (cropland and pastures) in Sweden was estimated to be 3 496 665 ha and 8.7% of this area (300 487 ha) was classified as agricultural organic soil, with 202 383 ha of deep peat, 50 191 ha of shallow peat and 48 913 ha of gyttja. Using detailed information from the agricultural databases, it was possible to estimate the cultivation intensity of the agricultural land. One-quarter of the agricultural area of peat soils was intensively cultivated with annual crops and the remaining area was extensively used, dominated by managed grasslands and pastures. There was a great variation in cultivation intensity between areas, from 50% annual crops down to 10%. The estimations of acreage and cultivation intensity of agricultural peat soils were used to calculate annual greenhouse gas emissions. The total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Swedish agricultural peat soils in one year (2003) were estimated to be 3062 Gg CO2 (or 4587 using a higher bulk density) which is on the same level or lower than values reported earlier. The emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) were estimated to be 3.2 Gg N2O in 2003. The estimated combined total emissions of CO2 and N2O from agricultural peat soils in Sweden in 2003 amounted to 4041 CO2-eq. (5566 CO2-eq. with high bulk density) or approximately 6-8% of the total emissions of all greenhouse gases reported by Sweden (excluding the sink for land use, land use change and forestry - LULUCF). Agricultural organic soils represent a minor fraction of the agricultural land in Sweden but still have a significant effect on total national greenhouse gas emissions

Keywords

Peat; gyttja; GIS; digitised soil maps; agricultural databases; greenhouse gas emission

Published in

Geoderma
2010, volume: 154, number: 3-4, pages: 173-180
Publisher: Elsevier

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.11.035

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/29087