Browsing by Subject "N2O EMISSIONS"

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  • Wang, Kai; Zheng, Xunhua; Pihlatie, Mari; Vesala, Timo; Liu, Chunyan; Haapanala, Sami; Mammarella, Ivan; Rannik, Ullar; Liu, Huizhi (2013)
    Nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes from a cotton field in northern China were measured for a year using the static chamber method based on a gas chromatograph (GC) and the eddy covariance (EC) technique based on a tunable diode laser (TDL). The aims were to compare the N2O fluxes obtained from both techniques, assess the uncertainties in the fluxes and evaluate the annual direct emission factors (EFds, i.e. the loss rate of fertilizer nitrogen via N2O emission) using the year-round datasets. During the experimental period, the hourly and daily mean chamber fluxes ranged from 0.6 to 781.8 and from 1.2 to 468.8 g N m−2 h−1, respectively. The simultaneously measured daily mean EC fluxes varied between −10.8 and 912.0 g N m−2 h−1. The EC measurements only provided trustworthy 30-min fluxes during high-emission period (a 20-day period immediately after the irrigation that followed the nitrogen fertilization event). A reliable comparison was confined to the high-emission period and showed that the chamber fluxes were 17–20% lower than the EC fluxes. This difference may implicate the magnitude of systematic underestimation in the fluxes from chamber measurements. The annual emission from the fertilized cotton field was estimated at 1.43 kg N ha−1 yr−1 by the chamber observations and 3.15 kg N ha−1 yr−1 by the EC measurements. The EFds calculated from the chamber and EC data were 1.04% and 1.65%, respectively. The chamber-based estimate was very close to the default value (1.0%) recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However, the difference in the EFds based on the two measurement techniques may vary greatly with changing environmental conditions and management practices. Further comparison studies are still needed to elucidate this issue.
  • Kalu, Subin; Simojoki, Asko; Karhu, Kristiina; Tammeorg, Priit (2021)
    Biochars (BC) have tremendous potential in mitigating climate change, and offer various agricultural and environmental benefits. However, there is limited information about the long-term effects of added biochars particularly from boreal regions. We studied the effects of a single application of softwood biochars on two contrasting boreal agricultural soils (nutrient-poor, coarse textured Umbrisol and fertile, fine-textured Stagnosol), both with high initial soil organic carbon contents, over eight years following the application. We focused on plant nutrient contents and nutrient uptake dynamics of different field crops over these years, as well as on soil physical properties and greenhouse gas emissions during seven to nine growing seasons. We found that, added biochars had minor long-term effects on the crop biomass yield, plant nutrient contents and plant nutrient uptake in both soil types. In terms of crop biomass yields, significant biochar × fertilization interactions were observed in barley (in 2013) and peas (in 2016), three and six years after the application of biochar in Stagnosol, respectively. In both cases, the biochar combined with the normal fertilization rate (100% of the recommended value) significantly increased crop biomass yield compared to corresponding fertilization treatment without biochar. However, the biochar had no effect at a lower fertilization rate (30% of the recommended value). Similar significant biochar × fertilization interactions were observed for several plant nutrient contents for peas in 2016, and for uptake for both barley in 2013 and peas in 2016. Thus, the ability of biochar to enhance the supply of nutrients to plants and hence to improve the crop biomass yield exists in boreal conditions, although these effects were minimal and not consistent over the years. Biochar notably increased plant K content, and also increased K:Mg ratio in plant biomass, suggesting a possible antagonistic effect of K on Mg in Umbrisol. Similar K antagonism on Na was observed in Stagnosol. The applied biochar also reduced the plant content and uptake of Al and Na in several years in Stagnosol. Furthermore, we found that, increased plant Mn content with biochar in the initial years subsequently declined over the following years in Umbrisol. On the other hand, the relative plant contents of Cd and Ni in Umbrisol, and P, K, Mg, S, Al, Cu, Fe and Ni in Stagnosol increased over the years. Despite these increased plant contents, no significant improvement was observed in crop biomass yield by added biochar over the years. The enhanced plant available water and reduced bulk density previously reported during the initial years were faded in long-term, likely due to dilution of biochar concentration in topsoil. However, the potential of biochar to affect N2O emission persisted, even seven years after the application.
  • Marushchak, M. E.; Friborg, T.; Biasi, C.; Herbst, M.; Johansson, T.; Kiepe, I.; Liimatainen, M.; Lind, S. E.; Martikainen, P. J.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Soegaard, H.; Shurpali, N. J. (2016)
    Methane (CH4) fluxes were investigated in a subarctic Russian tundra site in a multi-approach study combining plot-scale data, ecosystem-scale eddy covariance (EC) measurements, and a fine-resolution land cover classification scheme for regional upscaling. The flux data as measured by the two independent techniques resulted in a seasonal (May-October 2008) cumulative CH4 emission of 2.4 (EC) and 3.7 gCH(4) m(-2) (manual chambers) for the source area representative of the footprint of the EC instruments. Upon upscaling for the entire study region of 98.6 km(2), the chamber measured flux data yielded a regional flux estimate of 6.7 gCH(4) m(-2) yr(-1). Our upscaling efforts accounted for the large spatial variability in the distribution of the various land cover types (LCTs) predominant at our study site. Wetlands with emissions ranging from 34 to 53 gCH(4) m(-2) yr(-1) were the most dominant CH4-emitting surfaces. Emissions from thermokarst lakes were an order of magnitude lower, while the rest of the landscape (mineral tundra) was a weak sink for atmospheric methane. Vascular plant cover was a key factor in explaining the spatial variability of CH4 emissions among wetland types, as indicated by the positive correlation of emissions with the leaf area index (LAI). As elucidated through a stable isotope analysis, the dominant CH4 release pathway from wetlands to the atmosphere was plant-mediated diffusion through aerenchyma, a process that discriminates against C-13-CH4. The CH4 released to the atmosphere was lighter than that in the surface porewater, and delta C-13 in the emitted CH4 correlated negatively with the vascular plant cover (LAI). The mean value of delta C-13 obtained here for the emitted CH4, 68.2 +/- 2.0 %, is within the range of values from other wetlands, thus reinforcing the use of inverse modelling tools to better constrain the CH4 budget. Based on the IPCC A1B emission scenario, a temperature increase of 6.1 degrees C relative to the present day has been predicted for the European Russian tundra by the end of the 21st Century. A regional warming of this magnitude will have profound effects on the permafrost distribution leading to considerable changes in the regional landscape with a potential for an increase in the areal extent of CH4-emitting wet surfaces.
  • Yli-Halla, Markku; Virtanen, Seija; Regina, Kristiina; Österholm, Peter; Ehnvall, Betty; Uusi-Kämppä, Jaana (2020)
    Besides causing acidification, acid sulfate (AS) soils contain large nitrogen (N) stocks and are a potential source of N loading to waters and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. We quantified the stocks and flows of N, including crop yields, N leaching, and N2O emissions, in a cultivated AS soil in western Finland. We also investigated whether controlled drainage (CD) and sub-irrigation (CDI) to keep the sulfidic horizons inundated can alleviate N losses. Total N stock at 0-100 cm (19.5 Mg ha(-1)) was smaller than at 100-200 cm (26.6 Mg ha(-1)), and the mineral N stock was largest below 170 cm. Annual N leaching (31-91 kg N ha(-1)) plus N in harvested grain (74-122 kg N ha(-1)) was 148% (range 118-189%) of N applied in fertilizers (90-125 kg N ha(-1)) in 2011-2017, suggesting substantial N supply from soil reserves. Annual emissions of N2O measured during 2 years were 8-28 kg N ha(-1). The most probable reasons for high N2O emission rates in AS soils are concomitant large mineral N pools with fluctuating redox conditions and low pH in the oxidized subsoil, all favoring formation of N2O in nitrification and denitrification. Although the groundwater level was higher in CD and CDI than in conventional drainage, N load and crop offtake did not differ between the drainage methods, but there were differences in emissions. Nitrogen flows to the atmosphere and drainage water were clearly larger than those in non-AS mineral soils indicating that AS soils are potential hotspots of environmental impacts.
  • Kalu, Subin; Kulmala, Liisa; Zrim, Jure; Peltokangas, Kenneth; Tammeorg, Priit; Rasa, Kimmo; Kitzler, Barbara; Pihlatie, Mari; Karhu, Kristiina (2022)
    Biochars have potential to provide agricultural and environmental benefits such as increasing soil carbon sequestration, crop yield, and soil fertility while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nitrogen leaching. However, whether these effects will sustain for the long-term is still unknown. Moreover, these effects were observed mostly in highly weathered (sub-) tropical soils with low pH and soil organic carbon (SOC). The soils in northern colder boreal regions have typically higher SOC and undergo continuous freeze-thaw cycles. Therefore, effects of biochars in these regions may be different from those observed in other climates. However, only a few biochar studies have been conducted in boreal regions. We aimed to assess the long-term effects of biochars on GHG emissions, yield-normalized non-CO2 GHG emissions (GHGI), and N dynamics in boreal soils. For this, we collected data from four existing Finnish biochar field experiments during 2018 growing season. The experiments were Jokioinen (Stagnosol), Qvidja (Cambisol), Viikki-1 (Stagnosol), and Viikki-2 (Umbrisol), where biochars were applied, 2, 2, 8, and 7 years before, respectively. The GHG emissions, crop yield, soil mineral N, and microbial biomass were measured from all fields, whereas, additional measurements of plant N contents and N leaching were conducted in Qvidja. Biochars increased CO2 efflux in Qvidja and Viikki-2, whereas, there were no statistically significant effects of biochars on the fluxes of N2O or CH4, but in Qvidja, biochars tended to reduce N2O fluxes at the peak emission points. The tendency of biochars to reduce N2O emissions seemed higher in soils with higher silt content and lower initial soil carbon. We demonstrated the long-term effects of biochar on increased crop yield by 65% and reduced GHGI by 43% in Viikki-2. In Qvidja, the significant increment of plant biomass, plant N uptake, nitrogen use efficiency, and crop yield, and reduction of NO3--N leaching by the spruce biochar is attributed to its ability to retain NO3--N, which could be linked to its significantly higher specific surface area. The ability of the spruce biochar to retain soil NO3--N and hence to reduce N losses, has implications for sustainable management of N fertilization.
  • Wachiye, Sheila; Merbold, Lutz; Vesala, Timo; Rinne, Janne; Rasanen, Matti; Leitner, Sonja; Pellikka, Petri (2020)
    Field measurement data on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are still scarce for many land-use types in Africa, causing a high level of uncertainty in GHG budgets. To address this gap, we present in situ measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) emissions from the lowlands of southern Kenya. We conducted eight chamber measurement campaigns on gas exchange from four dominant land-use types (LUTs) comprising (1) cropland, (2) bushland, (3) grazing land, and (4) conservation land between 29 November 2017 and 3 November 2018, accounting for regional seasonality (wet and dry seasons and transitions periods). Mean CO2 emissions for the whole observation period were the highest by a significant margin (p value <0.05) in the conservation land (75 +/- 6 mg CO2-C m(-2)h(-1)) compared to the three other sites, which ranged from 45 +/- 4 mg CO2-C m(-2)h(-1) (bush-land) to 50 +/- 5 mg CO2-C m(-2)h(-1) (grazing land). Further-more, CO2 emissions varied between seasons, with significantly higher emissions in the wet season than the dry season. Mean N2O emissions were highest in cropland (2.7 0.6 lug N2O-N m(-2) h(-1)) and lowest in bushland (1.2 0.4 pg N2O-N m(-2)h(-1)) but did not vary with season. In fact, N2O emissions were very low both in the wet and dry seasons, with slightly elevated values during the early days of the wet seasons in all LUTs. On the other hand, CH4 emissions did not show any significant differences across LUTs and seasons. Most CH4 fluxes were below the limit of detection (LOD, 0.03 mg CH4-C m(-2) h(-1)). We attributed the difference in soil CO2 emissions between the four sites to soil C content, which differed between the sites and was highest in the conservation land. In addition, CO2 and N2O emissions positively correlated with soil moisture, thus an increase in soil moisture led to an increase in emissions. Furthermore, vegetation cover explained the seasonal variation in soil CO2 emissions as depicted by a strong positive correlation between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and CO2 emissions, most likely because, with more green (active) vegetation cover, higher CO2 emissions occur due to enhanced root respiration compared to drier periods. Soil temperature did not show a clear correlation with either CO2 or N2O emissions, which is likely due to the low variability in soil temperature between seasons and sites. Based on our results, soil C, active vegetation cover, and soil moisture are key drivers of soil GHG emissions in all the tested LUTs in southern Kenya. Our results are within the range of previous GHG flux measurements from soils from various LUTs in other parts of Kenya and contribute to more accurate baseline GHG emission estimates from Africa, which are key to reducing uncertainties in global GHG budgets as well as for informing policymakers when discussing low -emission development strategies.
  • Reckling, Moritz; Bergkvist, Göran; Watson, Christine A.; Stoddard, Frederick L.; Zander, Peter M.; Walker, Robin L.; Pristeri, Aurelio; Toncea, Ion; Bachinger, Johann (2016)
    Europe's agriculture is highly specialized, dependent on external inputs and responsible for negative environmental impacts. Legume crops are grown on less than 2% of the arable land and more than 70% of the demand for protein feed supplement is imported from overseas. The integration of legumes into cropping systems has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more resource-efficient agriculture and reduce the current protein deficit. Legume crops influence the production of other crops in the rotation making it difficult to evaluate the overall agronomic effects of legumes in cropping systems. A novel assessment framework was developed and applied in five case study regions across Europe with the objective of evaluating trade-offs between economic and environmental effects of integrating legumes into cropping systems. Legumes resulted in positive and negative impacts when integrated into various cropping systems across the case studies. On average, cropping systems with legumes reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 18 and 33% and N fertilizer use by 24 and 38% in arable and forage systems, respectively, compared to systems without legumes. Nitrate leaching was similar with and without legumes in arable systems and reduced by 22% in forage systems. However, grain legumes reduced gross margins in 3 of 5 regions. Forage legumes increased gross margins in 3 of 3 regions. Among the cropping systems with legumes, systems could be identified that had both relatively high economic returns and positive environmental impacts. Thus, increasing the cultivation of legumes could lead to economic competitive cropping systems and positive environmental impacts, but achieving this aim requires the development of novel management strategies informed by the involvement of advisors and farmers.