Assessing soil health in situ
- Prof David Johnson – University of Manchester
- Prof Nick Ostle – Lancaster University
With N8 AgriFood and NERC funding, we are using a newly delivered, state-of-the-art mobile greenhouse gas and isotope tracer laboratory (GasLab) to generate seed-corn data on greenhouse gas emissions and dynamics in relation to grassland management practices; such emissions are a key aspect of soil health. In particular, GasLab (based at University of Manchester) will enable us to test the coupling of carbon and nitrogen dynamics at fine temporal and spatial scales, and test how plant and soil management practices influences this coupling. The data will be essential to provide proof-of-concept for GasLab that is essential to open-up significant funding opportunities for both discovery and applied science across academic and business sectors. For example, we are already working with National Trust and Natural England. Moreover, the project will provide valuable data to facilitate unification of the N8 network of experimental farms to facilitate additional funding applications across the consortium.