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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IMPROVING SOIL AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINED PRODUCTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Title: Nitrogen, Tillage, and Crop Rotation Effects On Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes from Irrigated Cropping Systems

Authors
item Alluvione, Francesco - U OF TURIN, ITALY
item Halvorson, Ardell
item Del Grosso, Stephen

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 10, 2009
Publication Date: August 27, 2009
Citation: Alluvione, F., Halvorson, A.D., Del Grosso, S.J. 2009. Nitrogen, Tillage, and Crop Rotation Effects On Carbon Dioxide and Methane Fluxes from Irrigated Cropping Systems. Journal of Environmental Quality. 38:2023-2033.

Interpretive Summary: We evaluated effects of tillage intensity [no-till (NT) and moldboard plow tillage (CT)] in a continuous corn rotation, N fertilization level, and crop rotation under NT soil management [corn-barley (NT-CB); continuous corn (NT-CC); corn-dry bean (NT-CDb)] on carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from a clay loam soil in northern Colorado. Carbon dioxide and CH4 fluxes were monitored 1 to 3 times per week using vented non-steady state closed chambers during the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons. No-till reduced growing season cumulative CO2 emissions 14% relative to CT (NT: 2.08 Mg CO2-C ha-1; CT: 2.41 Mg CO2-C ha-1), while N fertilization had no effect. Growing season CO2 fluxes were 18 % lower in NT-CDb than NT-CC and NT-CB (11.4, 13.2 and 13.9 kg CO2-C ha-1d-1 respectively). Growing season CH4 emissions were slightly higher in NT (20.2 g CH4 ha-1) than in CT (1.2 g CH4 ha-1). Nitrogen fertilization and cropping rotation did not affect CH4 flux. Six years of NT with no N fertilization was not effective in recovering the soil’s CH4 oxidizing ability relative to native soils.

Technical Abstract: Long-term effects of tillage intensity, N fertilization, and crop rotation on carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux from semiarid irrigated soils are poorly understood. We evaluated effects of: a) tillage intensity [no-till (NT) and moldboard plow tillage (CT)] in a continuous corn rotation; b) N fertilization levels [0 to 246 kg N ha-1 for corn (Zea mays L.); 0 and 56 kg N ha-1 for dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.); 0 and 112 kg N ha-1 for barley (Hordeum distichon L.)]; and c) crop rotation under NT soil management [corn-barley (NT-CB); continuous corn (NT-CC); corn-dry bean (NT-CDb)] on CO2 and CH4 flux from a clay loam soil in northern Colorado. During the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons, CO2 and CH4 fluxes were monitored 1 to 3 times per week using vented non-steady state closed chambers. No-till reduced (14%) growing season cumulative CO2 emissions relative to CT (NT: 2.08 Mg CO2-C ha-1; CT: 2.41 Mg CO2-C ha-1; P<0.01), while N fertilization had no effect. Significantly lower (18%) growing season CO2 fluxes were found in NT-CDb than NT-CC and NT-CB (11.4, 13.2 and 13.9 kg CO2-C ha-1d-1 respectively; P<0.01). Growing season CH4 emissions were slightly higher in NT (20.2 g CH4 ha-1) than in CT (1.2 g CH4 ha-1) (P<0.01). Nitrogen fertilization and cropping rotation did not affect CH4 flux. Six years of NT with no N fertilization was not effective in recovering the soil’s CH4 oxidizing ability relative to native soils.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014