Measuring Methane Production from Ruminants
Radiative forcing of methane (CH4) is significantly higher than carbon dioxide (CO2) and its enteric production by ruminant livestock is one of the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. CH4 is also an important marker of farming productivity, because it is associated with the conversion of feed to product in livestock. Consequently, measurement of enteric CH4 is emerging as an important research topic. In this review, we briefly describe the conversion of carbohydrate to CH4 by the bacterial community within gut, and highlight some of the key host–microbiome interactions. We then provide a picture of current progress in techniques for measuring enteric CH4, the context in which these technologies are used, and the challenges faced. We also discuss solutions to existing problems and new approaches currently in development.
TrendsEnteric CH4 emissions from ruminants are a significant source of greenhouse gas.Enteric CH4 is also associated with farming productivity.Various enteric CH4 measurement methods have been developed, ranging from tracers and capsules, for individual ruminants, to whole farm systems.Further development of enteric CH4 measurement technologies is required to enable reliable, feasible, and low-cost assessments.
Journal: - Volume 34, Issue 1, January 2016, Pages 26–35