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A Green House Gas (GHG) balance contrasted between seasons but achieving equilibrium over the whole year cycle ¿ a case of a pastoral landscape in the Sahel

Assouma M.H., Vayssières J., Hiernaux P., Ickowicz A., Corniaux C., Lecomte P.. 2017. In : Le pastoralisme dans le courant des changements globaux : Défis, enjeux, perspectives. Livre des résumés P2CG 2017. Dakar : PPZS, p. 81-82. Colloque sur le Pastoralisme dans le courant des changements globaux (P2CG 2017), 2017-11-20/2017-11-24, Dakar (Sénégal).

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in agricultural systems are usually calculated at year level. This study puts forward, in an original way, a dynamic and spatialized GHG balance, to account for the strong seasonality of the monsoon climate, and the spatial heterogeneity of forage resources and livestock mobility. The study is conducted over the service area of the Widou borehole (706 km2 ). The management of this pastoral territory is typical of the Feria region, in North Senegal. The GHG balance encompasses the main sources of GHG emissions and sinks for carbon accumulation in the ecosystem. The annual net GHG balance of the ecosystem is about neutral at - 0.01±0.03 tC-eq/ha/year. On the contrary carbon fluxes vary widely between seasons with positive monthly balances during the wet season (July to October) and negative monthly balances during the hot and cold dry seasons (November to June). Fluxes and balances also vary largely across the territory with negative balances in landscape units with limited livestock stocking rates (enclosures, forest plantation, and even rangelands) whereas the balance is positive in units with higher stocking rates and thus receiving high rates of manure deposition (the vicinity of the borehole, pastoral settlements, ponds and surrounding low lands).

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