Announcements

Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques

Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques Springer Open The rapid change of global climate due to increased emission of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) has led to increased extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and heat waves. The emissions of major GHGs including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) have had a profound impact on the global climate including global warming and on the sustainability of agricultural production systems. Agricultural activities and land use changes contribute approximately 25% of the total GHG emissions, mainly due to poor farming practices including the inefficient use of chemical fertilisers, improper use of farm effluent and manure, overgrazing, and deforestation. While agriculture is contributing appreciably to climate change through GHG emissions, it is also a victim of climate change due to the negative impact climate change has on soil quality and crop productivity. Thus, it is paramount to find an integrated solution to reduce GHG emissions while at the same time making soils more resilient against climate change. Precise measurement of GHG emissions across different agroecosystems and identifying their microbial sources within soils poses an immense challenge to researchers. Thus, the use of stable isotopic techniques offers the best choice for precise measurements of GHGs and identifying their sources of production. The methods outlined in this book apply, in principle, to all soil derived greenhouse gases (i.e. CO2, CH4 and N2O) since most methods can simultaneously determine all three gases. However, there is a focus on emissions of gaseous N (N2O, N2) and methane (CH4).

Optimizing Soil, Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency in Integrated Cropping–Livestock Production Systems

Optimizing Soil, Water and Nutrient Use Efficiency in Integrated Cropping–Livestock Production Systems IAEA-TECDOC-1924 Continuous nutrient mining, monocropping and poor farming practices are still norm in many countries, and they generally lead to declining soil fertility and quality, and loss of crop productivity and falling income. For sustainable crop production, farmers may be equipped with the knowledge of how to maintain and even improve soil fertility through best farming practices. Improving soil fertility by retaining more carbon and essential plant nutrients is key to make soil resilient to changing climate. Integrated crop livestock system (ICLS) is one of the simplest and highly beneficial practices of good soil management that enriches soil with essential plant nutrients, improves soil organic matter and soil biological activities leading to increasing soil fertility, and improvement in soil structure, and stability.



Landscape Salinity and Water Management for Improving Agricultural Productivity

Landscape Salinity and Water Management for Improving Agricultural Productivity IAEA-TECDOC-1916 This publication is the outcome of an IAEA coordinated research project which addressed the problem of advancing salinity in irrigated soils of arid and semi-arid regions. Seven participating countries presented their studies focusing on alternative strategies and on integrated soil and water management practices. The publication informs readers on ways to improve crop productivity and sustainability through water and salinity management and defines approaches and technologies to assess and monitor soil water content and salinity. The test results of a new landscape soil moisture measuring tool (cosmic ray neutron sensor) for area-wide soil water measurements are also presented.

Assessing Recent Soil Erosion Rates through the Use of Beryllium-7 (Be-7)

Assessing Recent Soil Erosion Rates through the Use of Beryllium-7 (Be-7) Springer Open Springer Open This open access book provides insights on how nuclear techniques can facilitate the implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices. It is the first comprehensive guideline that presents and demonstrates the unique traits of the cosmogenic fallout radioisotope beryllium-7 (Be-7) and its use as a short-term soil redistribution budgeting tool in agricultural landscapes. While covering the fundamental and basic concepts of the approach, this book distinguishes itself from other publications by offering step-by-step guidance and easyto-follow protocols on how to use this isotopic technique effectively with appropriate attention to tracer limitations and uncertainties. It covers experimental design considerations and clear instruction is given on data processing. As accurate laboratory measurement is crucial to ensure successful use of Be-7 to investigate soil erosion, a full chapter is devoted to its specific determination by gamma spectrometry. Further the new developments in the Be-7 technique are described. The concluding chapter highlights the potential of Be-7 method to support the implementation of soil conservation policy.

Antimicrobial Movement from Agricultural Areas to the Environment: The Missing Link. A Role for Nuclear Techniques

Antimicrobial Movement from Agricultural Areas to the Environment: The Missing Link. A Role for Nuclear Techniques FAO Land and Water Discussion Paper 13 Antimicrobials play a critical role in the treatment of human and animal (aquatic and terrestrial) diseases, which has led to their widespread application and use. For some time now, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been approached mainly from the human and animal health angles, however little is known about the impacts that AMR in the environment may have on health. This technical paper developed by the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (AGE), the Animal Health Service (AGAH) and the Land and Water Division (CBL), Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), examines the potential of nuclear techniques to determine the sources of antibiotics and may detect the degradation of antibiotics by transformation-induced isotopic effects.

Data Management and Visualisation in Response to Large-Scale Nuclear Emergencies Affecting Food and Agriculture

Data Management and Visualisation in Response to Large-Scale Nuclear Emergencies Affecting Food and Agriculture FAO/IAEA Book This FAO technical guideline presents the challenges of data management, geo-visualisation and decision making in nuclear emergency preparedness and response in food and agriculture. It further elaborates how IT-Decision Support System (IT-DSS) tools and algorithms allow for improved, real-time management of large volumes of data and integrated decision-making support in a spatial and temporal context. Two case studies of such IT-DSS are presented; one by the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Laboratory of the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre, and the other case study by Japanese Competent Authorities in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.





Guidelines for Sediment Tracing Using the Compound Specific Carbon Stable Isotope Technique

Guidelines for Sediment Tracing Using the Compound Specific Carbon Stable Isotope Technique IAEA-TECDOC-1881 With increasing attention being paid by both developing and developed countries to soil erosion and its associated sedimentation processes, this TECDOC addresses both theoretical and practical aspects of the compound-specific stable isotopes (CSSI) technique, based on the determination of δ13C signatures of fatty acids (FAs) used as soil and sediment fingerprints.

This publication provides guidance in the use of the CSSI technique for identifying areas at risk and the sources of sediment within agro-ecosystems, and disseminates the technical knowledge gained within the on-going Coordinated Research Project D1.50.17 ‘Nuclear Techniques for a Better Understanding of the Impact of Climate Change on Soil Erosion in Upland Agro-ecosystems’, which started in mid-2016.

While covering the fundamental concepts of the CSSI technique, this comprehensive illustrated guideline distinguishes itself from others by providing step-by-step instructions for scientists, technicians and students on how to effectively use this innovative approach for effective application of climate smart agriculture and for improving area-wide soil conservation strategies in fragile agricultural landscapes.

This publication is divided into five sections. After giving background information, the first section introduces the concepts and assumptions behind the technique; the second section details the sampling strategy to optimise its field application; the third section gives information how to prepare and analyse the soil and sediment samples collected; and the fourth and fifth sections provide guidance on data treatment and interpretation of the results.

It is important to mention that the CSSI technique using δ13C-FAs is still in its infancy. We therefore encourage scientists and experts in Member States to test it under various agro-ecosystems and as well to update their knowledge about the latest development as new studies and methodological papers are regularly published in peer-reviewed soil and environmental science journals.

Sample Preparation of Soil and Plant Material for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry

Sample Preparation of Soil and Plant Material for Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry IAEA-TECDOC-1870 This TECDOC provides a detailed guidance on sample preparation for isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) analysis of plant and soil materials. An appropriate sample preparation is crucial to ensure the quality of stable isotope techniques: often, sample volumes of harvested soil or plant material need to be reduced prior to grinding, cross-contaminations must be avoided, and the final sample must be representative and within the adequate concentration range for IRMS. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) presented in this publication provide comprehensive instructions in quartering/sub-sampling, grinding and weighing samples for IRMS to determine δ15N and δ13C composition of plant and soil material. This TECDOC can be downloaded from:



Use of Laser Carbon Dioxide Carbon Isotope Analysers in Agriculture

IAEA-TECDOC 1866 Laser CO2 carbon isotope analysis – a relatively new technology- is increasingly used to track CO2 levels and trace the source of CO2 emissions through isotope analysis. These measurements can be used to evaluate and select agricultural management practices that reduce its emissions. To ensure accurate measurements and data analysis, the SWMCN laboratory published a TECDOC focusing on how to create reference gases for calibration and its quality control, and how to manage data as well as to enhance accuracy and precision of 13C-CO2 measurements.