Congratulations to new BC3 PhD graduate Xabier Díaz de Otalora

Dr. Xabier Díaz de Otalora graduated with a thesis entitled “Sustainability assessment of key European dairy cattle production systems: System identification, analysis, and greenhouse gas and nitrogen emission mitigation” today at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia. Díaz de Otalora’s thesis has been supervised by Prof. UZ. Dr. Barbara Amon and Dr. Agustin de Prado.


European dairy production systems (DPS) face stricter and increasingly binding environmental protection requirements. Understanding the impacts associated with DPS is a crucial step for identifying and implementing context-specific mitigation strategies. In this context, few studies have modelled the effect of tailored emission mitigation options on relevant DPS across Europe. Here, we assess the single and combined effect of six emission mitigation practices on selected case studies for dairy production located in key European regions through the Sustainable and Integrated Management System for Dairy Production (SIMSDAIRY) model. The results showed how reducing the crude protein content of the purchased fraction of the diet was an adequate mitigation strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHGint) and the nitrogen emission intensity (Nint) in all systems. Furthermore, implementing an anaerobic digestion plant reduced the GHGint in all tested DPS while increasing the Nint only from the intensive Mediterranean case study. As for the productivity increase, contrasting effects were observed amongst the DPS modelled when the supply of purchased feed was higher. Likewise, shallow slurry injection effectively reduced the Nint at the field level while marginally increasing the GHGint in the Mediterranean DPS. When substituting urea as mineral fertilizer, a greater mitigation potential of the GHGint and the Nint was observed in the Atlantic semi-extensive DPS than in the intensive Mediterranean system. Regarding rigid slurry covers, these effectively reduced the storage-related Nint while showing a minor effect on total GHGint. In addition, our results provided novel evidence regarding the advantages of cumulative implementation of adapted mitigation options to offset the negative trade-offs of single-option applications. Through this study, we contribute to a better understanding of the effect of emission mitigation options across DPS in Europe, thus facilitating the adoption of tailored and context-specific emission reduction strategies.

Thesis Committee: 

Anne Mottet (FAO)

Salvador Calvet Sanz (UPV)

Mariana Rufino (TUM)

Utzi erantzuna

Zure e-posta helbidea ez da argitaratuko. Beharrezko eremuak * markatuta daude

María de Maeztu Excellence Unit 2023-2027 Ref. CEX2021-001201-M, funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033

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