EGU22-1064, updated on 27 Mar 2022
EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Soil methane (CH4) fluxes in cropland with permanent pasture and riparian buffer strips with different vegetation

Jerry Dlamini1,2,3, Laura Cardenas2, Eyob Tesfamariam3, Robert Dunn2, Jane Hawkins2, Martin Blackwell2, Jess Evans4, and Adrian Collins2
Jerry Dlamini et al.
  • 1University of the Free State, Soil, Crop, and Climate Sciences, Bloemfontein, South Africa (
  • 2Sustainable Agriculture Sciences, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, United Kingdom, EX20 2SB
  • 3Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Pretoria, Hatfield, South Africa, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028
  • 4Computational and Analytical Sciences, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, AL5 2JQ

Methane (CH4) has a global warming potential (GWP) 28-times that of carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year horizon. Riparian buffers strips are widely implemented for their water quality protection functions along agricultural land, but conditions prevailing within them may increase the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), including CH4. However,  only small amount of information is available regarding the dynamics of unintended emissions of soil CH4 in these commonplace features of agroecosystems and how the dynamics compare to those for agricultural land not containing buffer strips. To understand the dynamics of soil CH4 fluxes from a permanent upslope pasture and contiguous riparian buffer strips with different (grass, willow, and woodland) vegetation as well as controls with no buffer vegetation, field measurements were carried out using the static chamber technique on a replicated plot-scale facility. Gas fluxes were measured periodically with soil and environmental variables between June 2018 and February 2019 at Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, United Kingdom. Soils under all treatments were sinks of soil CH4 with the willow riparian buffer (-2555 ± 318.7 g CH4 ha-1) having the lowest soil CH4 flux followed by the grass riparian buffer (-2532 ± 318.7 g CH4 ha-1), woodland riparian buffer (-2318.0 ± 246.4 g CH4 ha-1), no-buffer control (-1938.0 ± 374.4 g CH4 ha-1), and lastly, the upslope pasture (-1328.0 ± 89.0 g CH4 ha-1) which had a higher flux. The three vegetated riparian buffers were more substantial soil CH4 sinks, suggesting that they may help reduce soil CH4 fluxes into the atmosphere in similar agroecosystems.

How to cite: Dlamini, J., Cardenas, L., Tesfamariam, E., Dunn, R., Hawkins, J., Blackwell, M., Evans, J., and Collins, A.: Soil methane (CH4) fluxes in cropland with permanent pasture and riparian buffer strips with different vegetation, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1064,, 2022.