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Blood methane concentration as a marker for bovine greenhouse gas emissions

​Methane blood concentration and Ostwald solubility coefficients were measured at 39oC on dissolved gas samples stored into Exetainer tubes at 40C for 20 day. The blood of grazing steers had a mean value of 15.6 ± 9.84 ng/mL and 2.4 ± 2.25 for methane blood concentration and Ostwald solubility coefficient, respectively. When measured across breeds, methane blood concentration was similar between Brahman (18.1 ± 5.20) and Belmont red composite (14.6 ± 3.66) steers, while no differences were detected among low (17.3 ± 4.12), medium (19.7 ± 4.62) or high (12.0 ± 4.41) digestibility profile groups. There were not digestibility treatment effects upon methane Ostwald solubility coefficients, but higher (P < 0.05) values were in Belmont red composite than in Brahman cattle. Irrespective of breed and digestive profile, there was a significant (P < 0.05) negative relationship between methane blood concentration and platelet (- 0.55) or total protein contents (- 0.52) in the body fluid. It was concluded that although no consistent differences existed in methane blood concentration among experimental groups, multiple measurements on samples of identical origin will contribute to a better standardization of the blood technique. This will also help to understand the physiological variability of methane concentration and solubility coefficients in blood of Northern beef production systems. Therefore, the use of the methane blood technique is recommended to assess the association between those blood variables and short and total methane emissions measured currently by open circuit calorimetry at Lansdown Research Station.​

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This page was last updated on 25/07/2017

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