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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FARMING PRACTICES FOR THE NORTHERN CORN BELT TO PROTECT SOIL RESOURCES, SUPPORT BIOFUEL PRODUCTION AND REDUCE GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL Title: Effects of Manure and Cultivation on Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Corn Field under Mediterranean Conditions

Authors
item Heller, Hadar -
item Bar-Tal, Asher -
item Tamir, Guy -
item Venterea, Rodney
item Chen, Dong -
item Zhang, Yi -
item Clapp, Edward -
item Bloom, Paul -
item Fine, Pinchas -

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2009
Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/41228
Citation: Heller, H., Bar-Tal, A., Tamir, G., Venterea, R.T., Chen, D., Zhang, Y., Clapp, E.C., Bloom, P., Fine, P. 2010. Effects of Manure and Cultivation on Carbon Dioxide and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Corn Field under Mediterranean Conditions. Journal of Environmental Quality. 39(2):437-448.

Interpretive Summary: Organic materials such as plant residues and manures are sometimes added to soils to increase their fertility and productivity. However, depending on their composition and application methods, such organic amendments can stimulate emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) from soil to the atmosphere. The objective of the present work was to investigate and quantify the effects of management practices in irrigated sweet corn on CO2 and N2O emissions and relate the quantity of these emissions to environmental factors. In a three-year study, corn residues (CR) and pasteurized chicken manure (PCM) were used as soil amendments compared to no residue (NR). Each of these treatments were applied under three different cultivation practices, (i) shallow tillage under consecutive corn cropping (ST/CC), (ii) no tillage under CC (NT/CC) and (iii) ST with no crop (ST/NC). Tillage increased CO2 and N2O fluxes to the atmosphere in both residue-amended and non-amended plots. CO2 and N2O fluxes were correlated with soil NH4 concentrations and with days since tillage and days since seeding. Fluxes of CO2 were correlated with soil water content, whereas N2O fluxes had higher correlation with air temperature. Annual CO2 emissions were more than three times higher with PCM than with CR or NR. Fluxes of N2O with PCM were more than twenty times higher than with CR and NR. Annual amounts of CO2-C and N2O-N emissions from the PCM treatments were 64% and 6% of the applied C and N, respectively. Regardless of cultivation practices, elevated N2O emissions were recorded in the PCM treatment and these emissions could negate some of the beneficial effects of PCM on soil properties. Data from this study will be useful to scientists and farmers in developing management practices which optimize crop production while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Technical Abstract: The use of organic residues as soil additives is increasing but, depending on their composition and application methods, these organic amendments can stimulate the emissions of CO2 and N2O. The objective of the present work was to investigate and quantify the effects of management practices in irrigated sweet corn (Zea mays L.) on CO2 and N2O emissions and relate the quantity of these emissions to environmental factors. In a three year study corn residues (CR) and pasteurized chicken manure (PCM) were used as soil amendments compared to no residue (NR), under three management practices, shallow tillage (ST) and no tillage (NT) under consecutive corn crops and ST with no crop. Tillage increased significantly (P<.0001) CO2 and N2O fluxes in residue-amended plots as well as in NR. CO2 and N2O fluxes were correlated with soil NH4 concentrations and with days since tillage and days since seeding. Fluxes of CO2 were correlated with soil water content, whereas N2O fluxes had higher correlation with air temperature. Annual CO2 emissions were higher with PCM than with CR and NR (9.7, 2.9 and 2.3 Mg C ha-1, respectively). Fluxes of N2O were 72.6, 3.0 and 4.0 kg N ha-1 y-1 with PCM, CR and NR, respectively. Annual amounts of CO2-C and N2O-N emissions from the PCM treatments were 64% and 6% of the applied C and N. Regardless of cultivation practices, elevated N2O emissions were recorded in the PCM treatment and these emissions could negate some of the beneficial effects of PCM on soil properties.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014