Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecosystem, Environment and Climate Change in Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2022) | Viewed by 8150

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Interests: agricultural and wetland ecosystem; carbon and nitrogen transformation processes; greenhouse gas emissions; soil carbon sequestration; mitigation technique

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Guest Editor
College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
Interests: fertilization technique; nitrogen transformation processes; nitrogenous gas emissions; greenhouse gas mitigation technique
State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
Interests: nitrogen transformation processes; nitrogenous gas emissions; greenhouse gas mitigation technique; soil organic matter structure and decomposition

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The need for food around the world has dramatically increased in recent decades and will continue to do so to meet the growing demands of the world’s population that will reach 8.6 billion people by 2030. It is generally recognized that fertilizers feed approximately half of the global population, and that the magnitude of global nitrogen fertilizer is expected to increase to 188 Mt N in 2023. However, many countries have nitrogen surpluses of between 25 and more than 100 kg N per hectare, and, consequently, less than 20% of the nitrogen added in the agricultural ecosystem is ultimately consumed with crop, dairy, and meat products by humans. Fertilizer use is also correlated with undesirable side-effects on the local and global environment, with a substantial share loss through runoff, leaching, and emission. It is estimated that global nitrous oxide emission is approximately 17.0 teragrams of nitrogen per year, and direct and indirect emission from fertilizer nitrogen added in agriculture is 3.8 and 1.3 teragrams of nitrogen per year, respectively. The present challenges are to produce better nitrogen fertilizer products, precisely targeted to specific crops, and improve the efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer use by innovating and optimizing fertilization practices to reduce nitrogen application rates on farms and associated environmental impacts especially nitrogenous gas emissions.

This Special Issue focuses on the interface of nitrogen management and climate change mitigation. We welcome novel studies, critical reviews, and perspective articles that examine the mechanism of soil nitrogen transformation and greenhouse gas emission under innovative climate smart practices including, but not limited to, nitrous oxide emission.

Prof. Dr. Weixin Ding
Prof. Dr. Xiaotang Ju
Dr. Zengming Chen
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • mitigation practices
  • nitrogen fertilizer management
  • nitrogen transformation processes
  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • nitrogenous gas emissions

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 3453 KiB  
Article
Variation of Soil Nitrogen, Organic Carbon, and Waxy Wheat Yield Using Liquid Organic and Mineral Fertilizers
by Danute Petraityte, Jurgita Ceseviciene, Ausra Arlauskiene, Alvyra Slepetiene, Aida Skersiene and Viktorija Gecaite
Agriculture 2022, 12(12), 2016; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12122016 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1435
Abstract
Biogas slurry is widely used to fertilize crops. However, their impact on soil parameters and waxy winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) nutrition is poorly understood. The aim of this research was to determine the influence of liquid anaerobic digestate and pig slurry [...] Read more.
Biogas slurry is widely used to fertilize crops. However, their impact on soil parameters and waxy winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) nutrition is poorly understood. The aim of this research was to determine the influence of liquid anaerobic digestate and pig slurry applied to waxy winter wheat on the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (Ntot) in different forms on grain yield, and to compare them with the use of ammonium nitrate. The nitrogen rates (kg N·ha−1) used for fertilization were N0, N60, N120, and N120+50. The study showed that the variation of nitrate nitrogen (N-NO3) and water-extractable organic carbon (WEOC) in the soil during the growing season depended on N fertilizer rates, meteorological conditions of the year, and, to a lesser extent, on fertilizer forms. Meteorological conditions were responsible for the demand and supply of nutrients from the soil by the waxy winter wheat variety. This determined the wheat yield and the variation in the soil parameters studied. Over the 2 years, the soil C:N ratio decreased, especially at the medium and high N fertilizer rates. The lowest changes were observed in the unfertilized and fertilized plots at a rate of 60 kg N·ha−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission)
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14 pages, 1321 KiB  
Article
Brachiaria humidicola Cultivation Enhances Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Tropical Grassland by Promoting the Denitrification Potential: A 15N Tracing Study
by Lu Xie, Deyan Liu, Christoph Müller, Anne Jansen-Willems, Zengming Chen, Yuhui Niu, Mohammad Zaman, Lei Meng and Weixin Ding
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111940 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1465
Abstract
Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) in the tropical grass Brachiaria humidicola could reduce net nitrification rates and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in soil. To determine the effect on gross nitrogen (N) transformation processes and N2O emissions, an incubation experiment was [...] Read more.
Biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) in the tropical grass Brachiaria humidicola could reduce net nitrification rates and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in soil. To determine the effect on gross nitrogen (N) transformation processes and N2O emissions, an incubation experiment was carried out using 15N tracing of soil samples collected following 2 years of cultivation with high-BNI Brachiaria and native non-BNI grass Eremochloa ophiuroide. Brachiaria enhanced the soil ammonium (NH4+) supply by increasing gross mineralization of recalcitrant organic N and the net release of soil-adsorbed NH4+, while reducing the NH4+ immobilization rate. Compared with Eremochloa, Brachiaria decreased soil gross nitrification by 37.5% and N2O production via autotrophic nitrification by 14.7%. In contrast, Brachiaria cultivation significantly increased soil N2O emissions from 90.42 μg N2O-N kg−1 under Eremochloa cultivation to 144.31 μg N2O-N kg−1 during the 16-day incubation (p < 0.05). This was primarily due to a 59.6% increase in N2O production during denitrification via enhanced soil organic C, notably labile organic C, which exceeded the mitigated N2O production rate during nitrification. The contribution of denitrification to emitted N2O also increased from 9.7% under Eremochloa cultivation to 47.1% in the Brachiaria soil. These findings confirmed that Brachiaria reduces soil gross nitrification and N2O production via autotrophic nitrification while efficiently stimulating denitrification, thereby increasing soil N2O emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission)
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15 pages, 2050 KiB  
Article
Effects of Straw Incorporation Years and Water-Saving Irrigation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Paddy Fields in Cold Region of Northeast China
by Jianyi Huang, Tangzhe Nie, Tiecheng Li, Peng Chen, Zhongxue Zhang, Shijiang Zhu, Zhongyi Sun and Lihua E
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111878 - 9 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1702
Abstract
Straw incorporation has a variety of impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, few studies have focused on the effects of multi-year straw incorporation. In this study, a field experiment was established to study the effects of straw incorporation and water-saving irrigation on [...] Read more.
Straw incorporation has a variety of impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, few studies have focused on the effects of multi-year straw incorporation. In this study, a field experiment was established to study the effects of straw incorporation and water-saving irrigation on GHG emissions in the cold region of Northeast China. The following four treatments were included: (i) controlled irrigation (CI) with 1-year straw incorporation (C1), (ii) controlled irrigation with 5-year straw incorporation (C5), (iii) flooded irrigation (FI) with 1-year straw incorporation (F1), and (iv) flooded irrigation with 5-year straw incorporation (F5). The fluxes of N2O, CO2, and CH4 were measured by the static chamber–gas chromatography method, and their global warming potential (GWP) and greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) in units of CO2-equivalent at the 100-year scale were calculated. The results showed that the 5-year straw incorporation reduced N2O emissions but increased CH4 emissions. Compared with C1 and F1, C5 and F5 reduced N2O emissions by 73.1% and 44.9%, respectively, while increasing the CH4 emissions by 101.7 and 195.8%, respectively. Under different irrigation regimes, CI reduced CH4 emissions by 50.4–79.7% while increasing CO2 emissions by 8.2–44.9% compared with FI. The contribution of N2O and CO2 emissions were relatively high at the mature and milk stages, respectively, with a range of 16–54% and 41–52% for the treatments. In contrast, CH4 emissions were mainly manifested at the tillering stage, with a contribution of 36–58% for the treatments. Affected by higher CH4 emissions in FI, the GWP of CI was 1.4–47.6% lower than FI. In addition, the yield of CI was 10.0–11.5% higher than FI, which resulted in a GHGI of 11.5–52.4% lower than FI, with C5 being the lowest. The irrigation regime of CI combined with 5-year straw incorporation was an effective agronomic measure to increase yield and reduce GHG emissions from paddy fields in the cold region of Northeast China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission)
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21 pages, 1648 KiB  
Article
Hole Application of Urea Inhibited Nitrification in the Zone around the Fertilizer Point by Reducing the Abundance of Nitrification Genes
by Liang Cheng, Yifan Wang, Yiliu Wang and Huoyan Wang
Agriculture 2022, 12(11), 1771; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12111771 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1328
Abstract
The present study investigated the interactions among nitrogen transformation and soil bacteria along the direction of diffusion of hole-applied urea. To this end, a lab incubation trial was conducted on sandy loam and silty loam soils. Soil bacterial communities were analyzed via 16S [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the interactions among nitrogen transformation and soil bacteria along the direction of diffusion of hole-applied urea. To this end, a lab incubation trial was conducted on sandy loam and silty loam soils. Soil bacterial communities were analyzed via 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing, and soil chemical properties were measured at 8, 20, and 60 d after urea application. The treatments were the fertilizer point and 0–4 cm, 4–8 cm, 8–12 cm, and 12–16 cm horizontally distant from the fertilization point. They were designated FP, 0–4, 4–8, 8–12, and 12–16, respectively. The pre-culture and pre-incubation soil sample was used as a control. Soil NH4+ concentration was the key factor influencing the soil bacterial community. For the sandy loam, the FP and 0–4 treatments reduced the putative abundance of amoA by 38.9–83.4% and 40.7–67.6%, amoB by 38.9–83.4% and 40.6–67.6%, and amoC by 41.1–84.1% and 43.6–69.9%, respectively, compared with the control group. For the silty loam, the FP and 0–4 treatments reduced the putative abundance of amoA by 85.0–87.3% and 28.9–82.6%, amoB by 84.6–87.2% and 29.1–82.5%, and amoC by 81.9–87.1% and 27.5–82.7%, respectively, compared with the control group. The fertilizer core region was <4 cm from the fertilizer point and maintained high NH4+ concentrations for >60 d, which strongly inhibited nitrification. Overall, the fertilizer core region slowly released nitrogen and inhibited nitrification. For these reasons, hole application of urea may serve as a long-acting nitrogen fertilizer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission)
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23 pages, 2564 KiB  
Article
Characteristics of N2 and N2O Fluxes from a Cultivated Black Soil: A Case Study through In Situ Measurement Using the 15N Gas Flux Method
by Zhanlei Pan, Rui Wang, Yan Liu, Lin Wang, Xunhua Zheng, Zhisheng Yao, Hongbo He and Xiaochen Zhang
Agriculture 2022, 12(10), 1664; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12101664 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1441
Abstract
The magnitudes and source partitioning of soil dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are not well documented, yet. To address both issues for black soil subject to a typical cool temperate climate, soil N2O and N [...] Read more.
The magnitudes and source partitioning of soil dinitrogen (N2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions are not well documented, yet. To address both issues for black soil subject to a typical cool temperate climate, soil N2O and N2 fluxes following the basal application event of an ammonium-based fertilizer (labeled by 15N) for maize were simultaneously measured in situ by using the 15N gas flux (15NFG) method. During the two-month field experiment, the measured N2 and N2O fluxes cumulated to 1.61 ± 0.47 and 0.12 ± 0.01 kg N ha−1, respectively, showing N2O to N2O plus N2 ratios (RN2O) of 0.02–0.31 (0.15 on average). Temperature was identified as a key factor regulating the total soil N2 fluxes (r2 = 0.27, p < 0.01), despite the N2 fluxes originated from nitrate denitrification related to dissolved organic carbon concentrations (r2 = 0.39, p < 0.01). Differently, both temperature and soil moisture jointly accounted for 85% and 74% of the variances in the N2O fluxes and the RN2O values, respectively (p < 0.01). Moreover, the process(es) other than autotrophic nitrification and heterotrophic denitrification could be of substantial importance for the soil N2O emissions. Our findings emphasized the importance of temperature in regulating N2 emissions from black soil and the possible site- and/or time specificity of a soil factors-based parametrization of RN2O. In addition, this study implicates that labeling a nitrogen substrate of nitrification while using the 15N enrichment of N2O is necessary to more accurately quantify total soil N2 fluxes in situ by using the 15NFG approach even though further confirmation in future studies is still needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanism of Soil Nitrogen Transformation and Greenhouse Gas Emission)
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