Greenhouse gas emissions from farmed organic soils: a review

C. Kasimir-Klemedtsson, L. Klemedtsson, K. Berglund, P. Martikainen, J. Silvola, O. Oenema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    270 Citations (Scopus)


    The large boreal peatland ecosystems sequester carbon and nitrogen from the atmosphere due to a low oxygen pressure in waterlogged peat. Consequently they are sinks for CO2 and strong emitters of CH4. Drainage and cultivation of peatlands allows oxygen to enter the soil, which initiates decomposition of the stored organic material, and in turn CO2 and N2O emissions increase while CH4 emissions decrease. Compared to undrained peat, draining of organic soils for agricultural purposes increases the emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4 and N2O) by roughly 1 t CO2 equivalents/ha per year. Although farmed organic soils in most European countries represent a minor part of the total agricultural area, these soils contribute significantly to national greenhouse gas budgets. Consequently, farmed organic soils are potential targets for policy makers in search of socially acceptable and economically cost-efficient measures to mitigate climate gas emissions from agriculture. Despite a scarcity of knowledge about greenhouse gas emissions from these soils, this paper addresses the emissions and possible control of the three greenhouse gases by different managements of organic soils. More precise information is needed regarding the present trace gas fluxes from these soils, as well as predictions of future emissions under alternative management regimes, before any definite policies can be devised.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245-250
    JournalSoil Use and Management
    Issue number4 SUPPL.
    Publication statusPublished - 1997


    • agriculture
    • greenhouse effect
    • peat soils
    • organic soils
    • histosols
    • air pollution
    • nitrogen oxides


    Dive into the research topics of 'Greenhouse gas emissions from farmed organic soils: a review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this