Awassi sheep keeping in the Arabic steppe in relation to nitrous oxide emission from soil

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Sheep husbandry is the main source of income for farmers in arid zones. Increasing sheep production on steppes may increase the greenhouse gas production. The objective of this study was to investigate the nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions from the steppes for Awassi sheep keeping and feed cropping in arid zones such as Syria. The methodology developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was used to estimate N 2 O emissions. A survey was conducted on 64 farms in Syria to gather data for analysis. Precipitation and crop yield data from 2001 to 2009 were also used for calculation and modelling. Sheep-keeping systems, precipitation, year and the region have significant effects on N 2 O emissions (p<0.05). Emissions of N 2 O from lands with extensive, semi-intensive and intensive systems were 0.30±0.093, 0.598±0.113 and 2.243±0.187kgsheep -1 year -1 , respectively. Crop production was higher in regions with high precipitation levels, which helped to reduce N 2 O emissions. Using more residuals of wheat, cotton and soya as feed for sheep in the keeping systems evaluated may decrease the overuse of steppe regions and N 2 O emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions of N 2 O from sheep-keeping areas can be reduced by changing sheep-keeping systems and increasing the crop production in arid zones through artificial irrigation.




Hijazi, O., Berg, W., Moussa, S., Ammon, C., von Bobrutzki, K., & Brunsch, R. (2014). Awassi sheep keeping in the Arabic steppe in relation to nitrous oxide emission from soil. Journal of the Association of Arab Universities for Basic and Applied Sciences, 16, 46–54.

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