A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning grassland management, grazing livestock and soil carbon storage

Matthew W Jordon, Jean-Charles Buffet, Jennifer A J Dungait, Marcelo V Galdos, Tara Garnett, Michael R F Lee, John Lynch, Elin Röös, Timothy D Searchinger, Pete Smith, H Charles J Godfray

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    Approximately a third of all annual greenhouse gas emissions globally are directly or indirectly associated with the food system, and over a half of these are linked to livestock production. In temperate oceanic regions, such as the UK, most meat and dairy is produced in extensive systems based on pasture. There is much interest in the extent to which such grassland may be able to sequester and store more carbon to partially or completely mitigate other greenhouse gas emissions in the system. However, answering this question is difficult due to context-specificity and a complex and sometimes inconsistent evidence base. This paper describes a project that set out to summarize the natural science evidence base relevant to grassland management, grazing livestock and soil carbon storage potential in as policy-neutral terms as possible. It is based on expert appraisal of a systematically assembled evidence base, followed by a wide stakeholders engagement. A series of evidence statements (in the appendix of this paper) are listed and categorized according to the nature of the underlying information, and an annotated bibliography is provided in the electronic supplementary material.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20232669
    Pages (from-to)20232669
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Volume291
    Issue number2015
    Early online date24 Jan 2024
    DOIs
    Publication statusPrint publication - 31 Jan 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2024 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

    Keywords

    • Animals
    • Grassland
    • Greenhouse Gases
    • Livestock
    • Carbon
    • Natural Science Disciplines
    • Soil
    • carbon sequestration
    • greenhouse gas emissions
    • ruminants
    • soil organic matter
    • review
    • pasture

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