Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 13, issue 6
Biogeosciences, 13, 1837–1861, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1837-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 13, 1837–1861, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-1837-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 29 Mar 2016

Research article | 29 Mar 2016

A process-based model for ammonia emission from urine patches, GAG (Generation of Ammonia from Grazing): description and sensitivity analysis

Andrea Móring1,2,3, Massimo Vieno2, Ruth M. Doherty1, Johannes Laubach4, Arezoo Taghizadeh-Toosi5, and Mark A. Sutton2 Andrea Móring et al.
  • 1School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, Alexander Crum Brown Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3FF, UK
  • 2NERC, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh, Bush Estate, Midlothian, Penicuik, EH26 0QB, UK
  • 3Hungarian Meteorological Service, Kitaibel P. u. 1, 1024 Budapest, Hungary
  • 4Landcare Research, P.O. Box 69040, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand
  • 5Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark

Abstract. In this paper a new process-based, weather-driven model for ammonia (NH3) emission from a urine patch has been developed and its sensitivity to various factors assessed. The GAG model (Generation of Ammonia from Grazing) is capable of simulating the TAN (total ammoniacal nitrogen) and the water content of the soil under a urine patch and also soil pH dynamics. The model tests suggest that ammonia volatilization from a urine patch can be affected by the possible restart of urea hydrolysis after a rain event as well as CO2 emission from the soil. The vital role of temperature in NH3 exchange is supported by our model results; however, the GAG model provides only a modest overall temperature dependence in total NH3 emission compared with the literature. This, according to our findings, can be explained by the higher sensitivity to temperature close to urine application than in the later stages and may depend on interactions with other nitrogen cycling processes. In addition, we found that wind speed and relative humidity are also significant influencing factors. Considering that all the input parameters can be obtained for larger scales, GAG is potentially suitable for field and regional scale application, serving as a tool for further investigation of the effects of climate change on ammonia emissions and deposition.

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A process-based, weather-driven model for ammonia emission from a urine patch has been developed and its sensitivity to various factors assessed. The model can simulate the ammoniacal nitrogen content, pH and the water content of the soil under a urine patch. The simulated variables were in a good agreement with the measurements. The sensitivity analysis highlighted the vital role of temperature in ammonia exchange. The model is potentially suitable for larger scale application.
A process-based, weather-driven model for ammonia emission from a urine patch has been developed...
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