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Challenges and opportunities for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from fertilized cropping systems
- Venterea, Rodney T, Halvorson, Ardell D, Kitchen, Newell, Liebig, Mark A, Cavigelli, Michel A, Grosso, Stephen J Del, Motavalli, Peter P, Nelson, Kelly A, Spokas, Kurt A, Singh, Bhupinder Pal, Stewart, Catherine E, Ranaivoson, Andry, Strock, Jeffrey, Collins, Hal
- Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2012 v.10 no.10 pp. 562
- crop yield, cropping systems, fertilizer application, greenhouse gas emissions, growing season, new technology, nitrogen fertilizers, nitrous oxide, risk reduction, United States
- Nitrous oxide (N₂O) is often the largest single component of the greenhouse‐gas budget of individual cropping systems, as well as for the US agricultural sector as a whole. Here, we highlight the factors that make mitigating N₂O emissions from fertilized agroecosystems such a difficult challenge, and discuss how these factors limit the effectiveness of existing practices and therefore require new technologies and fresh ideas. Modification of the rate, source, placement, and/or timing of nitrogen fertilizer application has in some cases been an effective way to reduce N₂O emissions. However, the efficacy of existing approaches to reducing N₂O emissions while maintaining crop yields across locations and growing seasons is uncertain because of the interaction of multiple factors that regulate several different N₂O‐producing processes in soil. Although these processes have been well studied, our understanding of key aspects and our ability to manage them to mitigate N₂O emissions remain limited.