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Effects of industrial and agricultural waste amendment on soil greenhouse gas production in a paddy field in Southeastern China

Wang, Weiqi, Neogi, Suvadip, Lai, Derrick Y.F., Zeng, Congsheng, Wang, Chun, Zeng, Dongping
Atmospheric environment 2017 v.164 pp. 239-249
agricultural wastes, atmospheric chemistry, biochar, calcium fertilizers, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide production, climate change, correlation, crop production, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, gypsum, methane, methane production, nitrous oxide, paddies, paddy soils, rice, silicates, slags, steel, China
Controlling the production and subsequent emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from paddy fields is crucial to minimize the climatic impacts arising from crop production. The application of chemical or biological amendments is one possible way to limit the production of GHGs in paddy soils. Yet, few existing studies have examined the impacts of applying fertilizers originated from industrial and agricultural wastes on soil GHG production and its governing factors in subtropical paddy fields. In this study, we examined the effects of various agricultural and industrial amendments, including biochar, steel slag, shell slag, gypsum slag, and slag-derived silicate and calcium fertilizers, on the production potential of GHGs in an early paddy field in southeast China. The mean CO2 production rates from soils amended with steel slag as well as silicate and calcium fertilizers were significantly higher than those of the controls by 13.4% and 18.6%, respectively (P < 0.05). Mean soil CH4 production rates from the plots amended with steel slag, biochar, shell slag, and gypsum slag were significantly lower than those of the controls by 42.5%, 36.1%, 60.8%, and 61.8%, respectively (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, we found no significant difference in mean soil N2O production rates between the control and any of the treatments (P > 0.05). Overall, the soil production rate of CO2 was positively correlated with that of CH4 (P < 0.05), but negatively correlated with that of N2O (P < 0.05). When compared to the controls, the ratio of soil CO2:CH4 production increased significantly in the plots receiving biochar, and silicate and calcium fertilizer amendments (P < 0.05), while that of CO2:N2O production increased significantly only in the biochar-amended plots. Soil CH4:N2O production ratio decreased significantly in the plots amended with steel slag and gypsum slag, as compared to the controls (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that the application of biochar, shell slag and gypsum slag would help reduce greenhouse gas production and mitigate climate change impacts of rice cultivation, largely attributable to the reduction in methanogenesis.