We describe the application of a dual beam Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer and sampling system for simultaneous measurements of fluxes of several trace gases between the earth's surface and the atmosphere. The spectrometer is based on a commercial dual-output FTIR spectrometer with two long path absorption cells, fully automated gas handling, data acquisition and quantitative spectrum analysis. The spectrometer may be operated in single or dual beam (optical subtraction) modes; the advantages and disadvantages of the two modes are tested and discussed. Measurements of fluxes of N 2O, CO 2 and NH 3 from agricultural landscapes were made by the flux-gradient technique in two field trials in Sweden and Denmark in 1993. Fluxes of NH 3 were determined following liquid manuring of a young wheat crop in early summer, and N 2O and CO 2 fluxes were measured from a recently-harvested wheat stubble on an unfertilized organic soil in late summer. NH 3 fluxes of more than 5 μgN m -2 s -1 (4 kg ha -1 d -1) were measured a day after fertilization, decreasing to <0.5 μgN m -2 s -1 two days later. N 2O fluxes averaged 42 ngN m -2 s -1 (36 g ha -1 d -1) over the six days of measurement and showed no significant diurnal or longer term variability. Minimum fluxes of 500 and 20 ngN m -2 s -1 for NH 3 and N 2O respectively were detectable with 20 minute time resolution. The system is readily extendable to CH 4 measurement. Improvement for the future should improve the minimum detectable fluxes.