PLATFORM ON SOIL-ATMOSPHERE EXCHANGES OF AGRICULTURAL SOILS
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas that contributes very strongly to the greenhouse effect: its global warming potential is 300 times higher than that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Mastering one’s emissions is therefore fundamental. One of the main emitting sectors of N2O is agriculture, since this gas emanates from nitrates used to fertilize agricultural soils.
The aim of the PESAa platform, managed by INRA, is to define the services rendered by agricultural soils. It quantifies greenhouse gas emissions between agricultural soils and the atmosphere. It analyzes the effect of precision irrigation practices on agricultural production and the environmental impacts of agriculture.
It includes a set of devices:
- A flow tower and ground gas chambers near Illiers-Combray (28). The flow tower will allow continuous monitoring of gas emissions at different altitudes
- A precision irrigation ramp in Nouzilly (37). It will make it possible to know the water content of the soil and its reaction to irrigation, a determining factor for the emission of N2O
- A rain simulator in Ardon (45). It allows to reproduce the rain in controlled conditions and thus to examine more precisely the role of each parameter (intensity and duration of the rain, size and kinetic energy of the drops …) in the study of the water functioning of the soils
The data collected will ultimately help find solutions to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and develop low-impact farming practices.
PLACES OF EXPERIMENTATION
LOIRET, INDRE-AND-LOIRE, EURE-ET-LOIR
6 ENGINEERS, 3 TECHNICIANS, 1 PhD STUDENT
2 REGIONAL, 1 NATIONAL
The PESAa platform offers equipment for experimentation and acquisition of agro-environmental references on soils, water in soils and agricultural landscapes, gas exchanges between soils, water and the atmosphere:
- Rain simulator and laboratory for the characterization of physical properties of soils
- Simulated rain from 10 to 100mm / h on an area of 10m²; monitoring of soil temperature, soil moisture content, etc.
- Water retention curves, hydraulic conductivity curves
- Electrical resistivity
- Micrometeorological measurement device
- Automated rooms for measuring N2O emissions
- Continuous measurements of soil N2O emissions at metric scale
- Analyzes of agricultural practices and soil effects on N2O emissions; study of fertilization mode and soil water function
- Precision irrigation boom
Experiments can be performed:
- in the laboratory under controlled conditions
- on an experimental ground of Inra (Nouzilly, Indre-et-Loire)
- in an agricultural catchment area (OS² site, Eure-et-Loir)
- on your own grounds
Possible applications of the PESAa platform are:
- Characterization of the physical properties (water retention, structural stability, thin sections, …) and biological properties of the soil (respiration, nitrification, denitrification, etc.), their water functioning and greenhouse gas production.
- Experiments under rain simulation
- In situ tests of differentiated irrigation within an agricultural plot taking into account the water needs of plants and the local properties of soils
- In situ measurements of soil N2O emissions – Assessment of mitigation measures for N2O emissions
The PESAa platform provides the expertise of a team of technicians, engineers and researchers able to solve specific problems and carry out projects. It is open to public bodies and/or private companies for the use of equipment and services in research, research and development under research contracts or collaborative projects as well as in services.