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Universidade do Porto (2012)

Modelling carbon sequestration for alternative soil management practices of organic crop production

Passeira, Carolina Ramires

Titre : Modelling carbon sequestration for alternative soil management practices of organic crop production

Auteur : Passeira, Carolina Ramires

Université de soutenance : Universidade do Porto

Grade : Mestrado Integrado em Engenharia do Ambiente 2012

Résumé
The agriculture is one of the most important sectors responsible for climate change problems. Therefore, it is very important to find ways that can reduce its impacts and make this sector more sustainable. The aim of this thesis is the assessment of the Global Warming Potential over a time frame of 100 years for one farm located in Portugal that produces organic crops and assess the influence Carbon Sequestration for alternative soil management scenarios. To develop this thesis, it was used a Life Cycle Assessment based software - SimaPro 7.3 and the method SALCA (Swiss Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment). The farm studied is located in Ribatejo Centro and the organic products in focus are vegetables products (as tomato and broccoli) and grain products (as barley and wheat). The study here presented compares the influence of carbon sequestration for the conventional and the no-tillage management practices. It is clear that the carbon footprint decreases due to the absence of tillage processes. Decreasing values varied from -10 % to -30 %. Results show that carbon sequestration has a significant influence in terms of carbon footprint. For the whole farm and for the productive unit year the results (period 2008 and 2010) are between -10% and -19% lower than the results from the current tillage process. For the land management unit the results (period 2008 and 2010) are between -10% and -30% lower when reported to the current tillage process. The scenarios studied (incorporating carbon sequestration rates from a large number of meta-analysis studies collected from the literature) show that the uncertainty associated to the carbon footprint results obtained is large. The uncertainty generated in the field results and the lack of agreement in the carbon sequestration rates is expressed in the results obtained. Opportunities to extend the work here done are possible as by performing more fieldwork to understand better the effect of different variables (as for example, precipitation, temperature, tillage and crops’ type) on carbon sequestration.

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