CO2 SOURCES AND SINK IN ORNAMENTAL PLANT NURSERIES
It is well known that agriculture greatly contributes to emission of greenhouse gases. In agricultural production, plant nurseries represent a particular kind of activity, often blamed to be highly demanding in terms of resources (i.e., water, fertilizers, pesticides, substrates, etc.), structures (i.e., greenhouses, plastic storage house and buildings, plastic ground cover, etc.), and technology (i.e., tractors, trailers, root ball machines, self-propelled platforms, planting machines, etc.). These high demands can be considered as a negative factor for CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) emissions in the atmosphere. However, plant nurseries play an undoubtedly positive role in C fixation, due to the growth of woody plants produced, which sequester and store carbon in their tissues, acting as a sink for CO2, though such beneficial effects can be influenced by the type of production method. Therefore a research program was started in order to determine the carbon balance in plant production, evaluating both the CO2 fixation potential of hardy nursery stock plants and the CO2 emissions connected with the different practices of the production process. The research started in 2009 and was carried out in Pistoia (Italy), one of the biggest nursery production areas of UE, specialized in outdoor ornamental woody plants. Due to the complexity of the Pistoia plant production district, different scenarios were considered, taking into account container production as well as field-grown production techniques. The first results indicate a great difference in CO2 emissions between container and field grown production process, with the latter characterized by a less intensive cultivation and, consequently, reduced CO2 emissions. Perspectives of different strategies to improve CO2 balance in plant nursery practices are assessed.
Nicese, F.P. and Lazzerini, G. (2013). CO2 SOURCES AND SINK IN ORNAMENTAL PLANT NURSERIES. Acta Hortic. 990, 91-98
emission, sequestration, field-grown production, container production, carbon sequestration, carbon balance