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Fluxes of greenhouse gases after land-use change for sugarcane production in the south-central region of Brazil

Grant number: 15/08885-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2015 - July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Brigitte Josefine Feigl
Grantee:Brigitte Josefine Feigl
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Brigitte Josefine Feigl ; Carlos Eduardo Pellegrino Cerri

Abstract

There is a worldwide concern about climate change caused by increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) and consequent higher surface temperature. The burning of fossil fuels has been pointed out as a cause of global warming and responsible for damage to human health. In this way, studies in order to achieve renewable energy, such as ethanol, may be a solution of such issues. Brazil is the largest producer of ethanol from sugarcane crop, however, the expansion of production of this biofuel necessary to supply the market demand has raised concerns mainly about sustainable aspects. To provide this growing demand, Brazil needs an additional of 57,200 km2 in planted area of sugarcane. In addition, sugarcane crop is dependent on the quality of the soil, rainfall conditions and logistics gathered in the South Central Region of the country. In recent years, the expansion has occurred under grazed areas, being still estimated an additional of 88% of increasing areas by 2020 to meet the ethanol demands. This sudden increase in ethanol production has generated international attention to the environmental impacts of land use changes (LUC) into sugarcane fields. The aim of this study is quantify GHG emissions due to main land use change that has occurred in Brazil. A chronosequence situation composed by native vegetation, pasture and sugarcane field will be assessed to evaluate the impacts of LUC. Biogeochemical functioning and GHG emissions will be evaluated in the areas of LUC, located in the Valparaíso-SP. The products (meat, sugar and ethanol) generated in the different land use systems will be compared for the energy stored in each one. (AU)