Helge Bonesmo

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Emission intensities from beef production vary both among production systems (countries) and farms within a country depending upon use of natural resources and management practices. A whole-farm model developed for Norwegian suckler cow herds, HolosNorBeef, was used to estimate GHG emissions from 27 commercial beef farms in Norway with Angus, Hereford, and Charolais cattle. HolosNorBeef considers direct emissions of methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) from on-farm livestock production and indirect N2O and CO2 emissions associated with inputs used on the farm. The corresponding soil carbon (C) emissions are estimated using the Introductory Carbon Balance Model (ICBM). The farms were distributed across Norway with varying climate and natural resource bases. The estimated emission intensities ranged from 22.5 to 45.2 kg CO2 equivalents (eq) (kg carcass)−1. Enteric CH4 was the largest source, accounting for 44% of the total GHG emissions on average, dependent on dry matter intake (DMI). Soil C was the largest source of variation between individual farms and accounted for 6% of the emissions on average. Variation in GHG intensity among farms was reduced and farms within region East, Mid and North re-ranked in terms of emission intensities when soil C was excluded. Ignoring soil C, estimated emission intensities ranged from 21.5 to 34.1 kg CO2 eq (kg carcass)−1. High C loss from farms with high initial soil organic carbon (SOC) content warrants further examination of the C balance of permanent grasslands as a potential mitigation option for beef production systems.


The dataset comprises detailed mappings of two communities of interacting populations of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and grass species under differing experimental treatments over 4-5 years. Information fromdigital photographs acquired two times per season has been processed into gridded data and documents the temporal and spatial dynamics of the species that followed from a wide range of spatial configurations that arose during the study period. The data contribute a unique basis for validation and further development of previously published models for the dynamics and population oscillations in grass-white clover swards. They will be well suited for estimating parameters in spatially explicit versions of these models, like neighborhood based models that incorporate both the dispersal and the local nature of plant-plant interactions.


The model FROSTOL simulates course of frost tolerance in winter wheat on a daily basis from sowing on as affected by soil temperature (2 cm), snow cover, phenological development, and a genotypic maximum level of frost tolerance (LT 50). A series of cultivar trials in Finland was used to evaluate the model's ability to estimate plant survival in natural field environments during winters with differing weather conditions. Recorded survival was compared with number of intersections between the curves of simulated LT50 and the soil temperature curve for each field. A cumulative stress level (CSL) was calculated based both on number of intersections and FROSTOL simulated stress levels. The correlation between CSL and field recordings was quite low. While the field trials characterize a general ability to stand various types of winter stress, FROSTOL estimates damage caused by the soil temperature regime only. However, FROSTOL simulations seemed to correspond reasonably well to field observations when low temperature was the eventual cause of damage.


A Canadian model that simulates the course of frost tolerance in winter wheat under continental climatic conditions was adopted and further developed for use in an oceanic climate. Experiments with two cultivars were conducted during two winters in Central Norway. All plants were hardened at the same location. After hardening, in mid November, they were distributed to three locations with contrasting winter climates. Plants were sampled several times during autumn and winter and tested for frost tolerance, expressed as LT50 (the temperature at which 50% of the plants were killed). Results from the experiment were used in parameterization and cross validation of the new model, called FROSTOL, which simulates LT50 on a daily basis from sowing onwards. Frost tolerance increases by hardening and decreases by dehardening and stress, the latter caused by either low temperatures, or by conditions where the soil is largely unfrozen and simultaneously covered with snow. The functional relationships of the model are all driven by soil temperature at 2 cut depth. One of them is in addition affected by snow cover depth, and two of them are conditioned by stage of vernalization. Altogether five coefficients allotted to four of the functional relationships produced a good agreement (R-2 = 0.84) between measured and modelled values of LT50. A cross validation of the model indicated that the parameters were satisfactorily insensitive to variation in winter weather. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.