We have created this Blog and the database to provide a place where the scientific community can share and update the fast growing knowledge and data on the study of greenhouse gas CO2, CH4, and N2O fluxes in Africa.

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Gharahi Ghehi et al. 2013. Detailed regional predictions of N2O and NO emissions from a tropical highland rainforest

Gharahi Ghehi, N., Werner, C., Hufkens, K., Kiese, R., Van Ranst, E., Nsabimana, D., Wallin, G., Klemedtsson, L., Butterbach-Bahl, K., and Boeckx, P.: Detailed regional predictions of N2O and NO emissions from a tropical highland rainforest, Biogeosciences Discuss., 10, 1483-1516


Tropical forest soils are a significant source for the greenhouse gas N2O as well as for NO, a precursor of tropospheric ozone. However, current estimates are uncertain due to the limited number of field measurements. Furthermore, there is considerable spatial and temporal variability of N2O and NO emissions due to the variation of environmental conditions such as soil properties, vegetation characteristics and meteorology. In this study we used a process-based model (ForestDNDC-tropica) to estimate N2O and NO emissions from tropical highland forest (Nyungwe) soils in southwestern Rwanda. To extend the model inputs to regional scale, ForestDNDC-tropica was linked to an exceptionally large legacy soil dataset. There was agreement between N2O and NO measurements and the model predictions though the ForestDNDC-tropica resulted in considerable lower emissions for few sites. Low similarity was specifically found for acidic soil with high clay content and reduced metals, indicating that chemo-denitrification processes on acidic soils might be under-represented in the current ForestDNDC-tropica model. The results showed that soil bulk density and pH are the most influential factors driving spatial variations in soil N2O and NO emissions for tropical forest soils. The area investigated (1113 km2) was estimated to emit ca. 439 ± 50 t N2O-N yr−1 (2.8–5.5 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1) and 244 ± 16 t NO-N yr−1 (0.8–5.1 kg N ha−1 yr−1). Consistent with less detailed studies, we confirm that tropical highland rainforest soils are a major source of atmospheric N2O and NO.