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Nitrous oxide emissions from subtropical horticultural soils: a time series analysis

Huang, Xiaodong, Grace, Peter, Weier, Keith, Mengersen, Kerrie
Soil research 2012 v.50 no.7 pp. 596-606
Annona reticulata, autocorrelation, crops, emissions, environmental factors, mangoes, nitrification, nitrous oxide, pineapples, regression analysis, seasonal variation, soil temperature, soil water content, subtropical soils, subtropics, time series analysis, tropical and subtropical horticulture, uncertainty, water temperature, Queensland
Time series regression models were used to examine the influence of environmental factors (soil water content and soil temperature) on the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from subtropical soils, by taking into account temporal lagged environmental factors, autoregressive processes, and seasonality for three horticultural crops in a subtropical region of Australia. Fluxes of N2O, soil water content, and soil temperature were determined simultaneously on a weekly basis over a 12-month period in South East Queensland. Annual N2O emissions for soils under mango, pineapple, and custard apple were 1590, 1156, and 2038g N2O-N/ha, respectively, with most emissions attributed to nitrification. The N2O-N emitted from the pineapple and custard apple crops was equivalent to 0.26 and 2.22%, respectively, of the applied mineral N. The change in soil water content was the key variable for describing N2O emissions at the weekly time-scale, with soil temperature at a lag of 1 month having a significant influence on average N2O emissions (averaged) at the monthly time-scale across the three crops. After accounting for soil temperature and soil water content, both the weekly and monthly time series regression models exhibited significant autocorrelation at lags of 1–2 weeks and 1–2 months, and significant seasonality for weekly N2O emissions for mango crop and for monthly N2O emissions for mango and custard apple crops in this location over this time-frame. Time series regression models can explain a higher percentage of the temporal variation of N2O emission compared with simple regression models using soil temperature and soil water content as drivers. Taking into account seasonal variability and temporal persistence in N2O emissions associated with soil water content and soil temperature may lead to a reduction in the uncertainty surrounding estimates of N2O emissions based on limited sampling effort.