A time-series of methane and carbon dioxide production from dairy cows during a period of dietary transition

MA Lee, A Todd, MA Sutton, MGG Chagunda, DJ Roberts, RM Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Emissions from dairy farms are contributing to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases which are linked to recent climate change. Altering diets has been proposed as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy in dairy systems. The magnitude of mitigation and the time taken for cows to adapt to new diets has not been comprehensively quantified. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by dairy cows was measured for six weeks using the sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique following a change in diet; from barley straw and protein supplements to grazed grass. CH4 and CO2 production increased linearly as the animals adapted to their new diets, however, production did not reach an asymptote six weeks into the grazing period. This suggested that metabolic activity and greenhouse gas emissions may not have been at their maximum. There was substantial variation between individuals with high emitting cows producing four times more CH4 than low producing cows. Cows which produced greater amounts of CH4 consistently also produced greater CO2. We demonstrate that feeding regime plays an important role in determining greenhouse gas emissions and we highlight that transition periods in greenhouse gas models and future experiments must be sufficiently large to allow for adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1385693
JournalCogent Environmental Science
Volume3
Early online date30 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 30 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

methane
time series analysis
dairy cows
carbon dioxide
greenhouse gases
cows
diet
sulfur hexafluoride
barley straw
dairy farming
tracer techniques
dairies
carbon dioxide production
climate change
gases
grazing
grasses
greenhouses

Bibliographical note

1031413

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Dairy
  • Dry period
  • Enteric methane
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Transition

Cite this

@article{ba3146940e2443218118fc5633903372,
title = "A time-series of methane and carbon dioxide production from dairy cows during a period of dietary transition",
abstract = "Emissions from dairy farms are contributing to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases which are linked to recent climate change. Altering diets has been proposed as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy in dairy systems. The magnitude of mitigation and the time taken for cows to adapt to new diets has not been comprehensively quantified. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by dairy cows was measured for six weeks using the sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique following a change in diet; from barley straw and protein supplements to grazed grass. CH4 and CO2 production increased linearly as the animals adapted to their new diets, however, production did not reach an asymptote six weeks into the grazing period. This suggested that metabolic activity and greenhouse gas emissions may not have been at their maximum. There was substantial variation between individuals with high emitting cows producing four times more CH4 than low producing cows. Cows which produced greater amounts of CH4 consistently also produced greater CO2. We demonstrate that feeding regime plays an important role in determining greenhouse gas emissions and we highlight that transition periods in greenhouse gas models and future experiments must be sufficiently large to allow for adaptation.",
keywords = "Climate change, Dairy, Dry period, Enteric methane, Greenhouse gases, Transition",
author = "MA Lee and A Todd and MA Sutton and MGG Chagunda and DJ Roberts and RM Rees",
note = "1031413",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "30",
doi = "10.1080/23311843.2017.1385693",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
journal = "Cogent Environmental Science",
issn = "2331-1843",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",

}

A time-series of methane and carbon dioxide production from dairy cows during a period of dietary transition. / Lee, MA; Todd, A; Sutton, MA; Chagunda, MGG; Roberts, DJ; Rees, RM.

In: Cogent Environmental Science, Vol. 3, 1385693, 30.09.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A time-series of methane and carbon dioxide production from dairy cows during a period of dietary transition

AU - Lee, MA

AU - Todd, A

AU - Sutton, MA

AU - Chagunda, MGG

AU - Roberts, DJ

AU - Rees, RM

N1 - 1031413

PY - 2017/9/30

Y1 - 2017/9/30

N2 - Emissions from dairy farms are contributing to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases which are linked to recent climate change. Altering diets has been proposed as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy in dairy systems. The magnitude of mitigation and the time taken for cows to adapt to new diets has not been comprehensively quantified. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by dairy cows was measured for six weeks using the sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique following a change in diet; from barley straw and protein supplements to grazed grass. CH4 and CO2 production increased linearly as the animals adapted to their new diets, however, production did not reach an asymptote six weeks into the grazing period. This suggested that metabolic activity and greenhouse gas emissions may not have been at their maximum. There was substantial variation between individuals with high emitting cows producing four times more CH4 than low producing cows. Cows which produced greater amounts of CH4 consistently also produced greater CO2. We demonstrate that feeding regime plays an important role in determining greenhouse gas emissions and we highlight that transition periods in greenhouse gas models and future experiments must be sufficiently large to allow for adaptation.

AB - Emissions from dairy farms are contributing to the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases which are linked to recent climate change. Altering diets has been proposed as a greenhouse gas mitigation strategy in dairy systems. The magnitude of mitigation and the time taken for cows to adapt to new diets has not been comprehensively quantified. Methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by dairy cows was measured for six weeks using the sulphur hexafluoride tracer technique following a change in diet; from barley straw and protein supplements to grazed grass. CH4 and CO2 production increased linearly as the animals adapted to their new diets, however, production did not reach an asymptote six weeks into the grazing period. This suggested that metabolic activity and greenhouse gas emissions may not have been at their maximum. There was substantial variation between individuals with high emitting cows producing four times more CH4 than low producing cows. Cows which produced greater amounts of CH4 consistently also produced greater CO2. We demonstrate that feeding regime plays an important role in determining greenhouse gas emissions and we highlight that transition periods in greenhouse gas models and future experiments must be sufficiently large to allow for adaptation.

KW - Climate change

KW - Dairy

KW - Dry period

KW - Enteric methane

KW - Greenhouse gases

KW - Transition

U2 - 10.1080/23311843.2017.1385693

DO - 10.1080/23311843.2017.1385693

M3 - Article

VL - 3

JO - Cogent Environmental Science

JF - Cogent Environmental Science

SN - 2331-1843

M1 - 1385693

ER -