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Soil Greenhouse Gas Emissions Affected by Irrigation, Tillage, Crop Rotation, and Nitrogen Fertilization

Sainju, Upendra M., Stevens, William B., Caesar-TonThat, Thecan, Liebig, Mark A.
Journal of environmental quality 2012 v.41 no.6 pp. 1774
Hordeum vulgare, Pisum sativum, barley, carbon dioxide, continuous cropping, conventional tillage, crop rotation, fertilizer application, global warming, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, irrigation, malt, methane, nitrogen fertilizers, nitrous oxide, no-tillage, peas, sampling, sandy loam soils, soil temperature, North Dakota
Management practices, such as irrigation, tillage, cropping system, and N fertilization, may influence soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We quantified the effects of irrigation, tillage, crop rotation, and N fertilization on soil CO, NO, and CH emissions from March to November, 2008 to 2011 in a Lihen sandy loam in western North Dakota. Treatments were two irrigation practices (irrigated and nonirrigated) and five cropping systems (conventional-tilled malt barley [ L.] with N fertilizer [CT-N], conventional-tilled malt barley with no N fertilizer [CT-C], no-tilled malt barley–pea [ L.] with N fertilizer [NT-PN], no-tilled malt barley with N fertilizer [NT-N], and no-tilled malt barley with no N fertilizer [NT-C]). The GHG fluxes varied with date of sampling and peaked immediately after precipitation, irrigation, and/or N fertilization events during increased soil temperature. Both CO and NO fluxes were greater in CT-N under the irrigated condition, but CH uptake was greater in NT-PN under the nonirrigated condition than in other treatments. Although tillage and N fertilization increased CO and NO fluxes by 8 to 30%, N fertilization and monocropping reduced CH uptake by 39 to 40%. The NT-PN, regardless of irrigation, might mitigate GHG emissions by reducing CO and NO emissions and increasing CH uptake relative to other treatments. To account for global warming potential for such a practice, information on productions associated with CO emissions along with NO and CH fluxes is needed.