Halving N Waste: Quantification and Abatement of Reactive N Losses to the Atmosphere in Cropping Systems

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil and Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 3361

Special Issue Editors


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Departamento de Química y Tecnología de Alimentos, ETSI Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: nitrogen losses; nitrogen use efficiency; isotopes; soil biochemical processes; arable crops; enhanced-efficiency fertilizers; irrigation

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Agricultural Technological Institute of Castilla y León, Ctra. Burgos, Km 119, 47071 Valladolid, Spain
Interests: nitrogen use efficiency; sustainable agriculture; agronomy; soil quality
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Guest Editor
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Interests: sustainable agriculture; agriculture; crop management; cover crops
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent XXI International Nitrogen (N) Workshop celebrated in Madrid in October 2022 (https://nworkshop.org/) faced the challenge of halving the waste of N from agro-food systems considering different systems and spatial scales. Losses of this valuable resource have major environmental (e.g., gaseous emissions of reactive N to the atmosphere) and economic impacts. The ambitious goal of halving N waste by 2030 requires the implementation of effective reduction practices to reduce pollution, economic costs, and to develop reliable and accurate emission inventories. In the present Special Issue, we are calling for cutting-edge research to share the current knowledge about measurements of direct or indirect gaseous N losses (N2O, NH3, NOx) and quantification of the mitigation potential of management practices to be implemented in cropping systems.

Dr. Guillermo Guardia
Dr. María Alonso-Ayuso
Dr. Zhaohai Bai
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • reactive nitrogen
  • nitrous oxide emissions, nitric oxide emissions
  • ammonia volatilization
  • gas measurements
  • nitrogen surplus
  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • mitigation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3578 KiB  
Article
OpenToolFlux: An Open-Source Software for Estimating Gas Fluxes from Automatic Chamber Data
by Carmen Galea, Alberto Sanz-Cobeña, Luis Lassaletta, Alba Monistrol, Antonio Vallejo and Rasmus Einarsson
Agronomy 2023, 13(11), 2842; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13112842 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 854
Abstract
OpenToolFlux 1.0 is an open-source software designed to estimate soil gas fluxes from gas concentration time-series data generated by automatic chamber systems. This paper describes the physical equipment used as well as the software design and workflow. The software is a command-line application [...] Read more.
OpenToolFlux 1.0 is an open-source software designed to estimate soil gas fluxes from gas concentration time-series data generated by automatic chamber systems. This paper describes the physical equipment used as well as the software design and workflow. The software is a command-line application that imports tabular time-series data from the analyzer following the instructions specified in a configuration file by the user, performs configurable data-cleaning operations, and outputs a data file with volumetric flux estimates as well as diagnostic plots. The software can be configured according to the specifics of the physical equipment and experimental setups, and it is, therefore, applicable to a wide range of studies. Full article
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12 pages, 3989 KiB  
Article
Classification of the Nutritional Status of Peach Trees Using Indexes from Hyperspectral Images
by Lourdes Lleó, Pilar Barreiro, Victoria Lafuente, Natalia Hernández-Sánchez and Jesús Val
Agronomy 2023, 13(11), 2713; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13112713 - 27 Oct 2023
Viewed by 777
Abstract
This paper presents a procedure for the comparison of two technologies developed to classify peach trees according to their nutritional status. The first technology uses the leaf SPAD-502 meter value to characterize tree classes as indicated by agronomist experts: sound, intermediate, and strong [...] Read more.
This paper presents a procedure for the comparison of two technologies developed to classify peach trees according to their nutritional status. The first technology uses the leaf SPAD-502 meter value to characterize tree classes as indicated by agronomist experts: sound, intermediate, and strong chlorosis trees. It is used as a reference for the second technology, which uses a combination of two multispectral indexes computed from reflectance hyperspectral images. Specifically, R_NDVI = (R800 − R670)/(R800 + R670) and HyperSPAD = (R940/R650) are computed for each leaf pixel. An automated methodology is proposed that sets two optical thresholds (three hyperspectral categories) in view of the outliers according to a normal distribution, together with an iterative optimization of the bounding that determines the best assignment of trees to one of the three SPAD_502 levels of nutritional status, as required for practical agronomical purposes such as fertilization. The Chi 2 distribution is used to confirm the similarity of both nutritional classifications. These results encourage the use of on-board multispectral cameras to monitor the nutritional status of trees and to establish a more efficient fertilization strategy where inputs are applied according to individual status, with the consequent reduction in losses of fertilizers such as nitrogen to the atmosphere, soil, and water resulting from over-application. Full article
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19 pages, 3143 KiB  
Article
Effect of Incorporation Techniques and Soil Properties on NH3 and N2O Emissions after Urea Application
by Hannah Götze, Melanie Saul, Yanyan Jiang and Andreas Pacholski
Agronomy 2023, 13(10), 2632; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13102632 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
Ammonia (NH3) emissions affect the environment, the climate, and human health and originate mainly from agricultural sources like urea fertilizers. Such losses from urea fertilizer can be avoided by different application techniques like incorporation. However, the knowledge of the effect of [...] Read more.
Ammonia (NH3) emissions affect the environment, the climate, and human health and originate mainly from agricultural sources like urea fertilizers. Such losses from urea fertilizer can be avoided by different application techniques like incorporation. However, the knowledge of the effect of these techniques on NH3 emissions is very limited and ambiguous since incorporation can also promote nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Three different principles of fertilizer incorporation methods were compared in three different soils (sandy, loamy, and clayey) at two moisture levels of 70% and 30% water-holding capacity (WHC), shallow mixing at 2 cm, injection with the slit technique at 5 cm, and deep complete incorporation at 5 cm simulating plow incorporation. The laboratory study was conducted with open dynamic incubation chambers where NH3 emissions were monitored with washing bottles while N2O emissions were studied with gas chromatographic (GC) measurements. The highest cumulative NH3 emissions occurred at low soil moisture levels in sandy soil (34% of the N applied). A maximum reduction in emissions by 87% was achieved with slit injection and 82% with deep injection compared to standard surface application. The reduction effect was positively related to increasing clay content. N2O emissions were delayed and highest from sandy soil. Overall, all urea incorporation techniques showed great potential for mitigating NH3 emissions on the clayey soil; for sandy and drier soils, only deeper or closed slot injection were consistently effective. However, connected to the surface incorporation at the higher moisture level, a relevant increase in N2O emissions compared to surface application was observed. Therefore, an increase in N2O emissions by urea incorporation may rule out specific incorporation techniques for NH3 emissions reduction from field-applied urea. In agricultural practice, a lower reduction in NH3 by fertilizer incorporation can be assumed in sandy soils or under dry soil conditions, as well as a more challenging technical implementation. Full article
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