Crop residue incorporation alters soil nitrous oxide emissions during freeze–thaw cycles.

Pelster, D.E., Chantigny, M.H., Rochette, P., Angers, D.A., Laganière, J., Zebarth, B.J., and Goyer, C. (2013). "Crop residue incorporation alters soil nitrous oxide emissions during freeze–thaw cycles.", Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 93(4), pp. 415-425. doi : 10.4141/cjss2012-043  Access to full text


Freeze–thaw (FT) cycles stimulate soil nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) mineralization, which may induce nitrous oxide ( N2O) emissions. We examined how soybean (Glycine max L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) residue incorporation affect N2O emissions from high C content (35 g kg-1) silty clay and low C content (19 g kg-1) sandy loam soils over eight 10-d FT cycles, as a function of three temperature treatments [constant at +1°C (unfrozen control), +1 to −3°C (moderate FT), or +1 to −7°C (extreme FT)]. In unamended soils, N2O emissions were stimulated by FT, and were the highest with extreme FT. This was attributed to the increased NO3 availability measured under FT. Application of mature crop residues (C:N ratios of 75 for soybean and 130 for corn) caused rapid N immobilization, attenuating FT-induced N2O emissions in the silty clay. In the sandy loam, residue addition also induced immobilization of soil mineral N. However, N2O emissions under moderate FT were higher with than without crop residues, likely because N2O production in this low-C sandy loam was stimulated by C addition in the early phase of incubation. We conclude that FT-induced N2O emissions could be reduced through incorporation of mature crop residues and the subsequent immobilization of mineral N, especially in C-rich soils.

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