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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360652

Research Project: Develop Water Management Strategies to Sustain Water Productivity and Protect Water Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Greenhouse gas emissions from high rate of woodchip recycling in an almond orchard

item Perez-Sandoval, Julio
item Camarena Onofre, Diana
item Shenk, Robert
item Hendratna, Aileen
item PFLAUM, TOM - Retired ARS Employee
item CULUMBER, MAE - University Of California - Cooperative Extension Service
item PORET-PETERSON, AMISHA - University Of California, Davis
item HOLTZ, BRENT - University Of California
item Gao, Suduan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2018
Publication Date: 2/5/2019
Citation: Perez-Sandoval, J.C., Camarena Onofre, D., Shenk, R.J., Hendratna, A., Pflaum, T., Culumber, M., Poret-Peterson, A., Holtz, B., Gao, S. 2019. Greenhouse gas emissions from high rate of woodchip recycling in an almond orchard. Presented at the California Plant and Soil Conference, February 5-6, 2019, Fresno, CA. 165.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Whole orchard recycling (WOR) provides several potential benefits in orchards to increase soil organic matter/carbon and nutrients, improve soil physical properties, and promote microbial diversity for ultimate better soil health and productivity. However, there are many knowledge gaps on the impact of WOR on soil carbon and nutrient dynamics including greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this research was to collect field data and evaluate the effects of one time high rate of recycled woodchip application on nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. An old plum orchard was pulled out, chipped, incorporated into surface soil, and new almond trees were planted in late 2017. Emission rates of N2O and CO2 using static chambers were measured in control plots (no woodchip) and woodchip-incorporated plots since early 2018. Nitrogen fertilizers were applied six times (approximately every month) from April through August. Nitrous oxide emissions peaked following each fertilizer application, but dropped quickly in a few days. Woodchip incorporated plots had much higher N2O emission peaks following each fertilization than the control, but little difference was observed after 1-2 weeks. The data suggest that N fertilizer was the key factor in affecting N2O emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions were consistently higher in woodchip plots than the control plots and much higher from April through June compared to the period of July through September, indicating higher microbial activities or more available C for mineralization from woodchip plots. This research continues to observe long-term effects of woodchip incorporation on soil C and N dynamics in the orchard to provide useful information on management strategies.