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Greenhouse Gas Fluxes from an Irrigated Sweet Corn (Zea mays L.)–Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Rotation

Haile-Mariam, S., Collins, H. P., Higgins, S. S.
Journal of environmental quality 2008 v.37 no.3 pp. 759
Zea mays, sweetcorn, Solanum tuberosum, potatoes, irrigation, crop rotation, greenhouse gases, gas emissions, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sandy soils, conventional tillage, reduced tillage, nitrogen fertilizers, fertilizer application, fertigation, soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, Washington
Intensive agriculture and increased N fertilizer use have contributed to elevated emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO), methane (CH), and nitrous oxide (NO). In this study, the exchange of CO, NO, and CH between a Quincy fine sand (mixed, mesic Xeric Torripsamments) soil and atmosphere was measured in a sweet corn (L.)–sweet corn–potato (L.) rotation during the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons under irrigation in eastern Washington. Gas samples were collected using static chambers installed in the second-year sweet corn and potato plots under conventional tillage or reduced tillage. Total emissions of CO–C from sweet corn integrated over the season were 2071 and 1684 kg CO–C ha for the 2005 and 2006 growing seasons, respectively. For the same period, CO emissions from potato plots were 1571 and 1256 kg of CO–C ha Cumulative CO fluxes from sweet corn and potato fields were 17 and 13 times higher, respectively, than adjacent non-irrigated, native shrub steppe vegetation (NV). Nitrous oxide losses accounted for 0.5% (0.55 kg N ha) of the applied fertilizer (112 kg N ha) in corn and 0.3% (0.59 kg N ha) of the 224 kg N ha applied fertilizer. Sweet corn and potato plots, on average, absorbed 1.7 g CH–C ha d and 2.3 g CH–C ha d, respectively. The global warming potential contributions from NV, corn, and potato fields were 459, 7843, and 6028 kg CO–equivalents ha, respectively, for the 2005 growing season and were 14% lower in 2006.