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1. chinaXiv:201605.00499 [pdf]

Differences in field‐scale N2O flux linked to crop residue removal under two tillage systems in cold climates

Katelyn A. Congreves; Shannon E. Brown; Deanna D. Németh; Kari E. Dunfield; Claudia Wagner-Riddle
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant ecology, plant geography

Residue removal for biofuel production may have unintended consequences for N2O emissions from soils, and it is not clear how N2O emissions are influenced by crop residue removal from different tillage systems. Thus, we measured field-scale N2O flux over 5 years (2005–2007, 2010–2011) from an annual crop rotation to evaluate how N2O emissions are influenced by no-till (NT) compared to conventional tillage (CV), and how crop residue removal (R−) rather than crop residue return to soil (R+) affects emissions from these two tillage systems. Data from all 5 years indicated no differences in N2O flux between tillage practices at the onset of the growing season, but CT had 1.4–6.3 times higher N2O flux than NT overwinter. Nitrous oxide emissions were higher due to R− compared to R+, but the effect was more marked under CT than NT and overwinter than during spring. Our results thus challenge the assumption based on IPCC methodology that crop residue removal will result in reduced N2O emissions. The potential for higher N2O emission with residue removal implies that the benefit of utilizing biomass as biofuels to mitigate greenhouse gas emission may be overestimated. Interestingly, prior to an overwinter thaw event, dissolved organic C (DOC) was negatively correlated to peak N2O flux (r = −0.93). This suggests that lower N2O emissions with R+ vs. R− may reflect more complete stepwise denitrification to N2 during winter and possibly relate to the heterotrophic microbial capacity for processing crop residue into more soluble C compounds and a shift in the preferential C source utilized by the microbial community overwinter.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits149Downloads111 Comment 0

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