skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States

Abstract

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils are a key sustainability metric of cropping systems. During crop establishment, disruptive land-use change is known to be a critical, but under reported period, for determining GHG emissions. We measured soil N 2O emissions and potential environmental drivers of these fluxes from a three-year establishment-phase bioenergy cropping systems experiment replicated in southcentral Wisconsin (ARL) and southwestern Michigan (KBS). Cropping systems treatments were annual monocultures (continuous corn, corn–soybean–canola rotation), perennial monocultures (switchgrass, miscanthus, and poplar), and perennial polycultures (native grass mixture, early successional community, and restored prairie) all grown using best management practices specific to the system. Cumulative three-year N 2O emissions from annuals were 142% higher than from perennials, with fertilized perennials 190% higher than unfertilized perennials. Emissions ranged from 3.1 to 19.1 kg N 2O-N ha -1 yr -1 for the annuals with continuous corn > corn–soybean–canola rotation and 1.1 to 6.3 kg N 2O-N ha -1 yr -1 for perennials. Nitrous oxide peak fluxes typically were associated with precipitation events that closely followed fertilization. Bayesian modeling of N 2O fluxes based on measured environmental factors explained 33% of variability across all systems. Models trained on single systems performed well in most monoculturesmore » (e.g., R 2 = 0.52 for poplar) but notably worse in polycultures (e.g., R 2 = 0.17 for early successional, R 2 = 0.06 for restored prairie), indicating that simulation models that include N 2O emissions should be parameterized specific to particular plant communities. These results indicate that perennial bioenergy crops in their establishment phase emit less N 2O than annual crops, especially when not fertilized. These findings should be considered further alongside yield and other metrics contributing to important ecosystem services.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) and Dept. of Agronomy
  2. Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States). Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), W.K. Kellogg Biological Station and Dept. of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1246697
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1295952; OSTI ID: 1438264
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC02-07ER64494; AC05-76RL01830; AC05‐76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology. Bioenergy Journal Volume: 8 Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1757-1693
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Bayesian model averaging; cellulosic biofuels; corn; greenhouse gas; miscanthus; poplar; restored prairie; switchgrass

Citation Formats

Oates, Lawrence G., Duncan, David S., Gelfand, Ilya, Millar, Neville, Robertson, G. Philip, and Jackson, Randall D. Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States. United Kingdom: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12268.
Oates, Lawrence G., Duncan, David S., Gelfand, Ilya, Millar, Neville, Robertson, G. Philip, & Jackson, Randall D. Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States. United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12268.
Oates, Lawrence G., Duncan, David S., Gelfand, Ilya, Millar, Neville, Robertson, G. Philip, and Jackson, Randall D. Thu . "Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States". United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcbb.12268.
@article{osti_1246697,
title = {Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States},
author = {Oates, Lawrence G. and Duncan, David S. and Gelfand, Ilya and Millar, Neville and Robertson, G. Philip and Jackson, Randall D.},
abstractNote = {Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soils are a key sustainability metric of cropping systems. During crop establishment, disruptive land-use change is known to be a critical, but under reported period, for determining GHG emissions. We measured soil N2O emissions and potential environmental drivers of these fluxes from a three-year establishment-phase bioenergy cropping systems experiment replicated in southcentral Wisconsin (ARL) and southwestern Michigan (KBS). Cropping systems treatments were annual monocultures (continuous corn, corn–soybean–canola rotation), perennial monocultures (switchgrass, miscanthus, and poplar), and perennial polycultures (native grass mixture, early successional community, and restored prairie) all grown using best management practices specific to the system. Cumulative three-year N2O emissions from annuals were 142% higher than from perennials, with fertilized perennials 190% higher than unfertilized perennials. Emissions ranged from 3.1 to 19.1 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for the annuals with continuous corn > corn–soybean–canola rotation and 1.1 to 6.3 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for perennials. Nitrous oxide peak fluxes typically were associated with precipitation events that closely followed fertilization. Bayesian modeling of N2O fluxes based on measured environmental factors explained 33% of variability across all systems. Models trained on single systems performed well in most monocultures (e.g., R2 = 0.52 for poplar) but notably worse in polycultures (e.g., R2 = 0.17 for early successional, R2 = 0.06 for restored prairie), indicating that simulation models that include N2O emissions should be parameterized specific to particular plant communities. These results indicate that perennial bioenergy crops in their establishment phase emit less N2O than annual crops, especially when not fertilized. These findings should be considered further alongside yield and other metrics contributing to important ecosystem services.},
doi = {10.1111/gcbb.12268},
journal = {Global Change Biology. Bioenergy},
issn = {1757-1693},
number = 3,
volume = 8,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2015},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1111/gcbb.12268

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 17 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Cumulative 2009–2011 N2O fluxes from 8 bioenergy cropping systems grown at Arlington Agricultural Research Station, WI (ARL) and Kellogg Biological Station, MI (KBS). Values presented are geometric means with $n$ = 5 at ARL and $n$ = 4 at KBS. Phases of a corn–soybean–canola rotation are separated bymore » the contribution of each specific rotation phase in ascending chronological order; analysis was conducted on the summed fluxes. Bars sharing a letter can be grouped during stepwise factor level collapse without significantly reducing the explanatory power of the model ($P$ > 0.05). Miscanthus bars and letters correspond to 2010–2011 fluxes; for KBS, the dotted line and corresponding letter show the contribution of 2009 flux.« less

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Nitrous oxide emissions from small-scale farmland features of UK livestock farming systems
journal, March 2010

  • Matthews, R. A.; Chadwick, D. R.; Retter, A. L.
  • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 136, Issue 3-4
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2009.11.011

Global agriculture and nitrous oxide emissions
journal, May 2012

  • Reay, Dave S.; Davidson, Eric A.; Smith, Keith A.
  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1458

Assessing nitrate leaching during the three-first years of Miscanthus  ×  giganteus from on-farm measurements and modeling
journal, April 2013

  • Lesur, Claire; Bazot, Mathieu; Bio-Beri, Fadel
  • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 6, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12066

Bioenergy crop models: descriptions, data requirements, and future challenges
journal, March 2012


Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in an Eastern Corn Belt Soil: Weather, Nitrogen Source, and Rotation
journal, January 2009

  • Hernandez-Ramirez, Guillermo; Brouder, Sylvie M.; Smith, Douglas R.
  • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 38, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0565

Conversion of open lands to short-rotation woody biomass crops: site variability affects nitrogen cycling and N 2 O fluxes in the US Northern Lake States
journal, April 2013

  • Palmer, Marin M.; Forrester, Jodi A.; Rothstein, David E.
  • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 6, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12069

Perennial Forages as Second Generation Bioenergy Crops
journal, May 2008

  • Sanderson, Matt; Adler, Paul
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol. 9, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.3390/ijms9050768

An estimate of the global sink for nitrous oxide in soils
journal, May 2013

  • Schlesinger, William H.
  • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12239

N2O emissions from agricultural lands: a synthesis of simulation approaches
journal, June 2008


Seasonal Nitrous Oxide and Methane Fluxes from Grain- and Forage-Based Production Systems in Wisconsin, USA
journal, January 2014

  • Osterholz, William R.; Kucharik, Christopher J.; Hedtcke, Janet L.
  • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 43, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2014.02.0077

Nitrous oxide emissions from intensive agricultural systems: Variations between crops and seasons, key driving variables, and mean emission factors
journal, November 1999

  • Dobbie, K. E.; McTaggart, I. P.; Smith, K. A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 104, Issue D21
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JD900378

Nitrogen fertilizer management for nitrous oxide (N2O) mitigation in intensive corn (Maize) production: an emissions reduction protocol for US Midwest agriculture
journal, January 2010

  • Millar, Neville; Robertson, G. Philip; Grace, Peter R.
  • Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Vol. 15, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11027-010-9212-7

Alternative Transformations to Handle Extreme Values of the Dependent Variable
journal, March 1988

  • Burbidge, John B.; Magee, Lonnie; Robb, A. Leslie
  • Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 83, Issue 401
  • DOI: 10.1080/01621459.1988.10478575

Nitrogen–climate interactions in US agriculture
journal, October 2012


AGRICULTURE: Sustainable Biofuels Redux
journal, October 2008


Data from: Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States
dataset, September 2015

  • Oates, Lawrence G.; Duncan, David S.; Gelfand, Ilya
  • Dryad-Supplementary information for journal article at DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12268, 3 files
  • DOI: 10.5061/dryad.j8227

Take a Closer Look: Biofuels Can Support Environmental, Economic and Social Goals
journal, June 2014

  • Dale, Bruce E.; Anderson, James E.; Brown, Robert C.
  • Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 48, Issue 13
  • DOI: 10.1021/es5025433

Assessment of German nitrous oxide emissions using empirical modelling approaches
journal, September 2011


Temporal Variability of Nitrous Oxide from Fertilized Croplands: Hot Moment Analysis
journal, January 2012

  • Molodovskaya, Marina; Singurindy, Olga; Richards, Brian K.
  • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 76, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2012.0039

Midwest Cropping System Effects on Soil Properties and on a Soil Quality Index
journal, January 2011


Temporal and spatial variations of soil CO 2 , CH 4 and N 2 O fluxes at three differently managed grasslands
journal, January 2013


Soil carbon lost from Mollisols of the North Central U.S.A. with 20 years of agricultural best management practices
journal, November 2012

  • Sanford, Gregg R.; Posner, Joshua L.; Jackson, Randall D.
  • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 162
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2012.08.011

Reduced Nitrogen Losses after Conversion of Row Crop Agriculture to Perennial Biofuel Crops
journal, January 2013

  • Smith, Candice M.; David, Mark B.; Mitchell, Corey A.
  • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 42, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2012.0210

Multiple barriers to gene exchange in a field cricket hybrid zone: BARRIERS TO GENE EXCHANGE IN GRYLLUS
journal, May 2009


The impact of sampling frequency and sampling times on chamber-based measurements of N 2 O emissions from fertilized soils
journal, December 2001


Hydrological and biogeochemical controls on the timing and magnitude of nitrous oxide flux across an agricultural landscape: CONTROLS ON N2O FLUX
journal, August 2010


Improved Soil Cover Method for Field Measurement of Nitrous Oxide Fluxes1
journal, January 1981


Consequences of the cultivation of energy crops for the global nitrogen cycle
journal, January 2010

  • Bouwman, A. F.; Grinsven, J. J. M. van; Eickhout, B.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 20, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1890/08-0608.1

Carbon debt of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands converted to bioenergy production
journal, August 2011

  • Gelfand, I.; Zenone, T.; Jasrotia, P.
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 108, Issue 33
  • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1017277108

Development of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) as a bioenergy feedstock in the United States
journal, June 2005


The development and current status of perennial rhizomatous grasses as energy crops in the US and Europe
journal, October 2003


Direct emission of nitrous oxide from agricultural soils
journal, January 1996

  • Bouwman, A. F.
  • Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 46, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF00210224

Use of N immobilization to tighten the N cycle in conventional agroecosystems
journal, April 2010

  • McSwiney, Claire P.; Snapp, Sieglinde S.; Gentry, Lowell E.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 20, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1890/09-0077.1

Emissions of N 2 O and NO from fertilized fields: Summary of available measurement data : SUMMARY OF NO AND N
journal, October 2002

  • Bouwman, A. F.; Boumans, L. J. M.; Batjes, N. H.
  • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 16, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1029/2001GB001811

Climatic and genetic controls of yields of switchgrass, a model bioenergy species
journal, January 2012

  • Tulbure, Mirela G.; Wimberly, Michael C.; Boe, Arvid
  • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 146, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2011.10.017

Role of denitrifier diversity in rates of nitrous oxide consumption in a terrestrial ecosystem
journal, March 2001


Cover crop effects on the fate of N following soil application of swine manure
journal, November 2006


Life-Cycle Assessment of net Greenhouse-Gas flux for Bioenergy Cropping Systems
journal, April 2007

  • Adler, Paul R.; Grosso, Stephen J. Del; Parton, William J.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 17, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1890/05-2018

Predicting in situ soil N2O emission using NOE algorithm and soil database
journal, January 2005


Altered Belowground Carbon Cycling Following Land-Use Change to Perennial Bioenergy Crops
journal, January 2013

  • Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Masters, Michael D.; Black, Christopher K.
  • Ecosystems, Vol. 16, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1007/s10021-012-9628-x

Nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions from monoculture and rotational cropping of corn, soybean and winter wheat
journal, May 2008

  • Drury, C. F.; Yang, X. M.; Reynolds, W. D.
  • Canadian Journal of Soil Science, Vol. 88, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.4141/CJSS06015

Interactions among bioenergy feedstock choices, landscape dynamics, and land use
journal, June 2011

  • Dale, Virginia H.; Kline, Keith L.; Wright, Lynn L.
  • Ecological Applications, Vol. 21, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1890/09-0501.1

Greenhouse Gas Emission from Contrasting Management Scenarios in the Northern Corn Belt
journal, January 2010

  • Johnson, Jane M. F.; Archer, David; Barbour, Nancy
  • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 74, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0008

Nitrogen fertilization of switchgrass increases biomass yield and improves net greenhouse gas balance in northern Michigan, U.S.A
journal, October 2011


The Biology and Agronomy of Switchgrass for Biofuels
journal, September 2005


Response of nitrogen oxide emissions to grazer species and plant species composition in temperate agricultural grassland
journal, April 2012


David Draper and E. I. George, and a rejoinder by the authors
journal, November 1999

  • Volinsky, Chris T.; Raftery, Adrian E.; Madigan, David
  • Statistical Science, Vol. 14, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1214/ss/1009212519

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Inhibition of microbial biofuel production in drought-stressed switchgrass hydrolysate
    journal, November 2016

    • Ong, Rebecca Garlock; Higbee, Alan; Bottoms, Scott
    • Biotechnology for Biofuels, Vol. 9, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1186/s13068-016-0657-0

    Soil nitrous oxide flux following land-use reversion from Miscanthus and SRC willow to perennial ryegrass
    journal, August 2018

    • McCalmont, Jon P.; Rowe, Rebecca; Elias, Dafydd
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 10, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12541

    Cellulosic biofuel crops alter evapotranspiration and drainage fluxes: Direct quantification using automated equilibrium tension lysimeters
    journal, January 2019

    • Parish, Autumn L.; Kendall, Anthony D.; Thompson, Anita M.
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 11, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12585

    Sustainable intensification of high-diversity biomass production for optimal biofuel benefits
    journal, November 2018


    Soil N 2 O emissions with different reduced tillage methods during the establishment of Miscanthus in temperate grassland
    journal, October 2018

    • Holder, Amanda J.; McCalmont, Jon P.; Rowe, Rebecca
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 11, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12570

    Global Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Pasturelands and Rangelands: Magnitude, Spatiotemporal Patterns, and Attribution
    journal, February 2019

    • Dangal, Shree R. S.; Tian, Hanqin; Xu, Rongting
    • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 33, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1029/2018gb006091

    Water and nitrogen management effects on semiarid sorghum production and soil trace gas flux under future climate
    journal, April 2018


    Cellulosic biofuel contributions to a sustainable energy future: Choices and outcomes
    journal, June 2017

    • Robertson, G. Philip; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Barham, Bradford L.
    • Science, Vol. 356, Issue 6345
    • DOI: 10.1126/science.aal2324

    Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA
    journal, August 2016

    • Gelfand, Ilya; Shcherbak, Iurii; Millar, Neville
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 22, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13426

    X-ray computed tomography to predict soil N 2 O production via bacterial denitrification and N 2 O emission in contrasting bioenergy cropping systems
    journal, September 2018

    • Kravchenko, Alexandra N.; Guber, Andrey K.; Quigley, Michelle Y.
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 10, Issue 11
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12552

    Nitrate Leaching from Continuous Corn, Perennial Grasses, and Poplar in the US Midwest
    journal, January 2019

    • Hussain, Mir Zaman; Bhardwaj, Ajay K.; Basso, Bruno
    • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 48, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2019.04.0156

      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.