Leaving aquaculture ponds ‘out-to-dry’ has implications for nitrous oxide budgets

Researchers from China and the UK have demonstrated that the dormant period of shrimp farming, when aquaculture ponds are drained and left ‘out-to-dry’ for half a year, is associated with increased nitrous oxide emissions. The global aquaculture industry is currently growing at a rate that surpasses most other food sectors, yet the potential climatic impacts from increased greenhouse gas production has implications for the sustainability of this farming system. Through an extended field campaign of nitrous oxide measurements, emissions from the dry-period of aquaculture ponds made up the vast majority of total nitrous oxide emissions. As a previously unaccounted for part of the pond farm greenhouse gas budget, this dry phase of the aquaculture period is too large to be ignored.

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