The expected tangible and quantifiable results of this project are:
(1) the development of two prototypes (fixed and portable) for measuring N2O soil fluxes; the portable version will allow scanning the spatial soil heterogeneity in emissions while the fixed version will be adopted to study temporal variability of emissions related to the environmental conditions and the agri-ecosystem management;
(2) the production of a Best Practices Manual addressed to the farmers and other stakeholders, explaining the best practices to be used in agri-ecosystems management to mitigate N2O emissions.
Other important ancillary outputs are:
- - the elaboration of a regional scale analysis to identify the best funding strategy to be adopted by Tuscany Region policy makers to mitigate these emissions;
- - the raise of awareness on the importance of nitrous oxide emissions, and the way to reduce these impacts, among Tuscany farmers, farmer organizations and consortia;
- - the possibility to export this innovative approach in other regions and countries.
The objectives of this project follow the European Commission on GHG emission reduction in the Climate Change Package, which considers a reduction of the overall emission on European average of 20% by 2020. The target for N2O emissions reduction in agricultural sector by 2020 in the decision n° 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament was set, on European average, equal to 20%, as for the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) emissions.
Then, the goal of this project is to decrease N2O emissions in agriculture of Tuscany Region at least by 20% by the end of the project (2016), having 1990 as a reference year. Another indicator for the effect of the project that will be used is the kg/ha of nitrogen fertilizer. Our goal is to reduce the fertilizers intensity of the main crop representative of the regional cropping systems by 10% respect to 2000. Indeed, several studies reported a reduction of N2O emissions in relation to different crop management, especially when a nitrogen input reduction occurred. Indeed, the main factors affecting N2O emissions rate are soil moisture, temperature and nitrogen (N) content. Magnitude of nitrification and denitrification are largely controlled by soil and climate characteristics, although agricultural management may also interfere with soil processes and thus influence N availability and consequently the relative rates of N2O emissions.