Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Mitigating Greenhouse Gases

Monitoring photosynthesis in the GHG facility

This Portfolio contributes to reducing New Zealand’s potential liability for greenhouse gas emissions and carbon stocks by ensuring national inventories meet international best practice. It is also overcoming the challenges implicit in developing cost-effective mitigation practices and technologies without reducing agricultural productivity.

Unlike most developed countries, half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are methane and nitrous oxide resulting from agricultural practices. As these gases are emitted at landscape scales and atmospheric concentrations are very low, there are high uncertainties in measurement. This Portfolio focuses on (i) determining the processes and drivers regulating greenhouse gas emissions from grassland, shrubland and forest systems, (ii) reducing uncertainties in measuring and scaling emissions and removals, and (iii) providing the modelling and analytical tools for assessing, scaling and reporting emissions at farm to national scales.

Research of most relevance to Māori will be establishing the potential for carbon sequestration on their lands.

Key research partners include AgResearch, NIWA, Lincoln University and Massey University (measurement and verification of greenhouse gas emissions); and Scion (carbon sequestration rates).  We also contribute to the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

Research priority areas:

  • Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions
  • Soil carbon storage
  • Biomass carbon storage
  • Greenhouse gas scaling & integration
  • Modelling greenhouse gas emissions