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Livestock enclosures in drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa are overlooked hotspots of N$_{2}$O emissions

Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Gettel, Gretchen; Kiese, Ralf; Fuchs, Kathrin; Werner, Christian; Rahimi, Jaber; Barthel, Matti; Merbold, Lutz

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is home to approximately ¼ of the global livestock population, which in the last 60 years has increased by factors of 2.5–4 times for cattle, goats and sheep. An important resource for pastoralists, most livestock live in semi-arid and arid environments, where they roam during the day and are kept in enclosures (or bomas) during the night. Manure, although rich in nitrogen, is rarely used, and therefore accumulates in bomas over time. Here we present in-situ measurements of N$_{2}$O fluxes from 46 bomas in Kenya and show that even after 40 years following abandonment, fluxes are still ~one magnitude higher than those from adjacent savanna sites. Using maps of livestock distribution, we scaled our finding to SSA and found that abandoned bomas are significant hotspots for atmospheric N$_{2}$O at the continental scale, contributing ~5% of the current estimate of total anthropogenic N$_{2}$O emissions for all of Africa.

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Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000125233
Veröffentlicht am 23.10.2020
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18359-y
Zitationen: 1
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2020
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2041-1723
KITopen-ID: 1000125233
Erschienen in Nature Communications
Band 11
Heft 1
Seiten Art.-Nr.: 4644
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
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