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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPACT OF SOIL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ON SOIL BIOCHEMICAL AND CHEMICAL PROCESSES

Location: National Soil Erosion Research Lab

Title: Fertilizer and tillage management impacts on non-carbon-dioxide greenhouse gas emissions

Authors
item Smith, Douglas
item Hernandez Ramirez, Guillermo
item Armstrong, Shalamar
item Bucholtz, Dennis
item Stott, Diane

Submitted to: Soil Science Society of America Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 14, 2010
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Citation: Smith, D.R., Hernandez Ramirez, G., Armstrong, S.D., Bucholtz, D.L., Stott, D.E. 2011. Fertilizer and tillage management impacts on non-carbon-dioxide greenhouse gas emissions. Soil Science Society of America Journal. 75(3):1070-1082.

Interpretive Summary: With the focus on greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, one of the primary links has been the emissions of greenhouse gases from agricultural soils. This research was conducted to assess the influence of cropping systems management on nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide emissions from an alfisol (forest derived soils) in the eastern cornbelt. Corn/soybean rotation plots were established, as were plots in continuous management of native grasses or Sorghum/Sudan grass. Greenhouse gas fluxes were monitored throughout the growing season from 2004 through 2007. Fluxes of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide were significantly correlated with soil temperature. Nitrous oxide emissions were greatest from corn plots, intermediate for soybean plots and lowest from native grass plots. Annual trends in methane emissions indicated that these soils were typically a sink for atmospheric methane. Carbon dioxide emissions were only assessed for corn plots, with no significant differences observed for the different management scenarios tested. This is one of few studies to provide estimates of GHG emissions from Eastern cornbelt alfisols.

Technical Abstract: Recent efforts have been placed on trying to establish emission estimates for greenhouse gases (GHG) from agricultural soils in the United States. This research was conducted to assess the influence of cropping systems management on nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from an alfisol in the eastern cornbelt. Corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max (L.) merr.) rotation plots were established, as were plots in continous management of native grasses or Sorghum/Sudan grass. GHG fluxes were monitored throughout the growing season from 2004 through 2007. Fluxes of N2O and CO2 were significantly correlated with soil temperature, and thus a Q10 correction was made (3.48 for N2O and 2.12 for CO2). There were no significant differences between within row and inter-row GHG emissions when calculated for two corn and two soybean plots in 2005, indicating that the inter-row measurements used for this study were sufficient to estimate GHG emissions from these plots. Nitrous oxide emissions were greatest from corn plots (2.4 to 5.0 kg N ha-1 yr-1), intermediate for soybean plots (1.3 to 1.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and lowest from native grass plots (0.6 kg N ha-1 yr-1). Annual trends in CH4 emissions indicated that these alfisols are typically a sink for atmospheric CH4. CO2 emissions were only assessed for corn plots, and ranged from 13.9 to 16.5 Mg ha-1 yr-1, with no significant differences between treatments. This is one of few studies to provide estimates of GHG emissions from Eastern cornbelt alfisols.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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