<p>Contribution of Urine and Dung Patches from Grazing Sheep to Methane and Carbon Dioxide Fluxes in an Inner Mongolian Desert Grassland</p>

Contribution of Urine and Dung Patches from Grazing Sheep to Methane and Carbon Dioxide Fluxes in an Inner Mongolian Desert Grassland

Authors: 
Yuanyuan Jiang, Shiming Tang, Chengjie Wanga, Pei Zhou, Mario Tenuta, Guodong Han, Ding Huang

Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences http://dx.doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2011.11261 

Abstract: 

The effects of sheep urine and dung patches on methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (C[O.sub.2]) fluxes were investigated during the summer-autumn in 2010, to evaluate their contribution to climate change in a desert grassland in Inner Mongolia, China. Results indicate that the cumulative C[H.sub.4] emissions for dung patches, urine patches and control plots were -0.076, -0.084, and -0.114 g/[m.sup.2] and these were net C[H.sub.4] sinks during the measured period. The level of C[H.sub.4] intake from urine and dung plots decreased 25.7%, and 33.3%, respectively, compared with a control plot. C[O.sub.2] fluxes differed (p<0.01) in urine plots, with an average of 569.20 mg/[m.sup.2]/h compared with control plots (357.62 mg/[m.sup.2]/h) across all sampling days. Dung patches have cumulative C[O.sub.2] emissions that were 15.9% higher compared with the control during the 55-d period. Overall, sheep excrement weakened C[H.sub.4] intake and increased C[O.sub.2] emissions. (Key Words : Sheep, Urine and Dung Patches, C[O.sub.2] and C[H.sub.4] Fluxes, Greenhouse Effect, Inner Mongolia Desert Grassland)