Climate change impact of green manures and a novel solution for mitigation
Funding sources: KESS/European Social Fund, Centre for Alternative Technology
Background: This project researches the potential to use perennial nitrogen fixing plants as an alternative to traditional green manures. Perennial nitrogen fixers, e.g., alder (Alnus glutinosa) and gunnera (Gunnera manicata) can be grown on sub-optimal land which is prone to flooding or of low nutrient status. Growing and harvesting green manures ex-situ, and adding leaf matter to developing crops when required could allow greater nitrogen use efficiency by increasing synchrony of supply and demand. This could reduce greenhouse gas emissions of nitrous oxide, and leaching of nitrates to waterways. Production of leaf matter as fertiliser may provide an ecologically beneficial alternative land use option for low quality land in Wales.
Aims: To determine the viability of fertilising crops using perennial green manures, and their climate impact compared to traditional green manuresPhotos: