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Nitrous oxide emissions respond differently to mineral and organic nitrogen sources in contrasting soil types

Pelster, D.E., Chantigny, M.H., Rochette, P., Angers, D.A., Rieux, C., Vanasse, A. (2012). Nitrous oxide emissions respond differently to mineral and organic nitrogen sources in contrasting soil types, 41(2), 427-435. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2011.0261

Abstract

The use of various animal manures for nitrogen (N) fertilization is often viewed as a viable replacement for mineral N fertilizers. However, the impacts of amendment type on N 2O production may vary. In this study, N 2O emissions were measured for 2 yr on two soil types with contrasting texture and carbon (C) content under a cool, humid climate. Treatments consisted of a no-N control, calcium ammonium nitrate, poultry manure, liquid cattle manure, or liquid swine manure. The N sources were surface applied and immediately incorporated at 90 kg N ha -1 before seeding of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cumulative N 2O-N emissions from the silty clay ranged from 2.2 to 8.3 kg ha -1 yr -1 and were slightly lower in the control than in the fertilized plots (P = 0.067). The 2-yr mean N 2O emission factors ranged from 2.0 to 4.4% of added N, with no difference among N sources. Emissions of N 2O from the sandy loam soil ranged from 0.3 to 2.2 kg N 2O-N ha -1 yr -1, with higher emissions with organic than mineral N sources (P = 0.015) and the greatest emissions with poultry manure (P < 0.001). The N 2O emission factor from plots amended with poultry manure was 1.8%, more than double that of the other treatments (0.3-0.9%), likely because of its high C content. On the silty clay, the yield-based N 2O emissions (g N 2O-N kg -1 grain yield N) were similar between treatments, whereas on the sandy loam, they were greatest when amended with poultry manure. Our findings suggest that, compared with mineral N sources, manure application only increases soil N 2O flux in soils with low C content. © ASA, CSSA, SSSA.

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