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Title: Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA

Abstract

Differences in soil nitrous oxide (N 2O) fluxes among ecosystems are often difficult to evaluate and predict due to high spatial and temporal variabilities and few direct experimental comparisons. For 20 years, we measured N 2O fluxes in 11 ecosystems in southwest Michigan USA: four annual grain crops (corn–soybean–wheat rotations) managed with conventional, no-till, reduced input, or biologically based/organic inputs; three perennial crops (alfalfa, poplar, and conifers); and four unmanaged ecosystems of different successional age including mature forest. Average N 2O emissions were higher from annual grain and N-fixing cropping systems than from nonleguminous perennial cropping systems and were low across unmanaged ecosystems. Among annual cropping systems full-rotation fluxes were indistinguishable from one another but rotation phase mattered. For example, those systems with cover crops and reduced fertilizer N emitted more N 2O during the corn and soybean phases, but during the wheat phase fluxes were ~40% lower. Likewise, no-till did not differ from conventional tillage over the entire rotation but reduced emissions ~20% in the wheat phase and increased emissions 30–80% in the corn and soybean phases. Greenhouse gas intensity for the annual crops (flux per unit yield) was lowest for soybeans produced under conventional management, while for the 11 other crop 9 management combinations intensities were similar to one another. Among the fertilized systems, emissions ranged from 0.30 to 1.33 kg N 2O-N ha -1 yr -1 and were best predicted by IPCC Tier 1 and DEF emission factor approaches. Annual cumulative fluxes from perennial systems were best explained by soil NO$$-\atop{3}$$ pools (r 2 = 0.72) but not so for annual crops, where management differences overrode simple correlations. Daily soil N 2O emissions were poorly predicted by any measured variables. Overall, long-term measurements reveal lower fluxes in nonlegume perennial vegetation and, for conservatively fertilized annual crops, the overriding influence of rotation phase on annual fluxes.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1];  [3];  [4]
  1. W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners MI 49060 USA, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA
  2. W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners MI 49060 USA, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA
  3. Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA
  4. W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners MI 49060 USA, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA, Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1290321
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1290323; OSTI ID: 1427682
Grant/Contract Number:  
FC02-07ER64494
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Global Change Biology Journal Volume: 22 Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1354-1013
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; corn; cover crops; crop type; forest; nitrogen fertilizer; no-till; rotation phase; soybean; succession; wheat

Citation Formats

Gelfand, Ilya, Shcherbak, Iurii, Millar, Neville, Kravchenko, Alexandra N., and Robertson, G. Philip. Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA. United Kingdom: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1111/gcb.13426.
Gelfand, Ilya, Shcherbak, Iurii, Millar, Neville, Kravchenko, Alexandra N., & Robertson, G. Philip. Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA. United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcb.13426.
Gelfand, Ilya, Shcherbak, Iurii, Millar, Neville, Kravchenko, Alexandra N., and Robertson, G. Philip. Thu . "Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA". United Kingdom. doi:10.1111/gcb.13426.
@article{osti_1290321,
title = {Long-term nitrous oxide fluxes in annual and perennial agricultural and unmanaged ecosystems in the upper Midwest USA},
author = {Gelfand, Ilya and Shcherbak, Iurii and Millar, Neville and Kravchenko, Alexandra N. and Robertson, G. Philip},
abstractNote = {Differences in soil nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes among ecosystems are often difficult to evaluate and predict due to high spatial and temporal variabilities and few direct experimental comparisons. For 20 years, we measured N2O fluxes in 11 ecosystems in southwest Michigan USA: four annual grain crops (corn–soybean–wheat rotations) managed with conventional, no-till, reduced input, or biologically based/organic inputs; three perennial crops (alfalfa, poplar, and conifers); and four unmanaged ecosystems of different successional age including mature forest. Average N2O emissions were higher from annual grain and N-fixing cropping systems than from nonleguminous perennial cropping systems and were low across unmanaged ecosystems. Among annual cropping systems full-rotation fluxes were indistinguishable from one another but rotation phase mattered. For example, those systems with cover crops and reduced fertilizer N emitted more N2O during the corn and soybean phases, but during the wheat phase fluxes were ~40% lower. Likewise, no-till did not differ from conventional tillage over the entire rotation but reduced emissions ~20% in the wheat phase and increased emissions 30–80% in the corn and soybean phases. Greenhouse gas intensity for the annual crops (flux per unit yield) was lowest for soybeans produced under conventional management, while for the 11 other crop 9 management combinations intensities were similar to one another. Among the fertilized systems, emissions ranged from 0.30 to 1.33 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 and were best predicted by IPCC Tier 1 and DEF emission factor approaches. Annual cumulative fluxes from perennial systems were best explained by soil NO$-\atop{3}$ pools (r2 = 0.72) but not so for annual crops, where management differences overrode simple correlations. Daily soil N2O emissions were poorly predicted by any measured variables. Overall, long-term measurements reveal lower fluxes in nonlegume perennial vegetation and, for conservatively fertilized annual crops, the overriding influence of rotation phase on annual fluxes.},
doi = {10.1111/gcb.13426},
journal = {Global Change Biology},
issn = {1354-1013},
number = 11,
volume = 22,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = {2016},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1111/gcb.13426

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 4 works
Citation information provided by
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Works referenced in this record:

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Nitrous oxide emissions from European agriculture – an analysis of variability and drivers of emissions from field experiments
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Nitrogen in Agriculture: Balancing the Cost of an Essential Resource
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Predicting N2O emissions from agricultural land through related soil parameters
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Denitrification and Organic Carbon Availability in Riparian Wetland Soils and Subsurface Sediments
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Atmospheric composition change: Ecosystems–Atmosphere interactions
journal, October 2009


Spatial and temporal variability of nitrous oxide emissions in a mixed farming landscape of Denmark
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Contemporary Evidence of Soil Carbon Loss in the U.S. Corn Belt
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Long-term nitrate loss along an agricultural intensity gradient in the Upper Midwest USA
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Stratospheric ozone depletion due to nitrous oxide: influences of other gases
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Isotopologue data reveal bacterial denitrification as the primary source of N2O during a high flux event following cultivation of a native temperate grassland
journal, March 2010


Emissions of N 2 O and NO from fertilized fields: Summary of available measurement data : SUMMARY OF NO AND N
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Exchange of trace gases between soils and the atmosphere in Scots pine forest ecosystems of the northeastern German lowlands
journal, August 2002


Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest
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Do cover crops increase or decrease nitrous oxide emissions? A meta-analysis
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Soil physics meets soil biology: Towards better mechanistic prediction of greenhouse gas emissions from soil
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Land-use history has a stronger impact on soil microbial community composition than aboveground vegetation and soil properties
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journal, August 2012


Challenges to incorporating spatially and temporally explicit phenomena (hotspots and hot moments) in denitrification models
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Challenges to incorporating spatially and temporally explicit phenomena (hotspots and hot moments) in denitrification models
    journal, January 2009

    • Groffman, Peter M.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Fulweiler, Robinson W.
    • Biogeochemistry, Vol. 93, Issue 1-2
    • DOI: 10.1007/s10533-008-9277-5

    A reassessment of the contribution of soybean biological nitrogen fixation to reactive N in the environment
    journal, December 2014


    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

    Review of greenhouse gas emissions from crop production systems and fertilizer management effects
    journal, October 2009

    • Snyder, C. S.; Bruulsema, T. W.; Jensen, T. L.
    • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 133, Issue 3-4
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2009.04.021

    Long-term nitrate loss along an agricultural intensity gradient in the Upper Midwest USA
    journal, March 2012


    Soil N2O emissions under N2-fixing legumes and N-fertilised canola: A reappraisal of emissions factor calculations
    journal, April 2015

    • Schwenke, Graeme D.; Herridge, David F.; Scheer, Clemens
    • Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Vol. 202
    • DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2015.01.017

    Atmospheric composition change: Ecosystems–Atmosphere interactions
    journal, October 2009


    Isotopologue data reveal bacterial denitrification as the primary source of N2O during a high flux event following cultivation of a native temperate grassland
    journal, March 2010


    Land-use history has a stronger impact on soil microbial community composition than aboveground vegetation and soil properties
    journal, October 2011


    Soil physics meets soil biology: Towards better mechanistic prediction of greenhouse gas emissions from soil
    journal, April 2012


    Exchange of trace gases between soils and the atmosphere in Scots pine forest ecosystems of the northeastern German lowlands
    journal, August 2002


    Nitrous Oxide Emission by Agricultural Soils: A Review of Spatial and Temporal Variability for Mitigation
    journal, August 2012


    Evaluating annual nitrous oxide fluxes at the ecosystem scale
    journal, December 2000

    • Groffman, Peter M.; Brumme, Rainer; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus
    • Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 14, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1029/1999gb001227

    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

    Cross-system comparisons of soil nitrogen transformations and nitrous oxide flux in tropical forest ecosystems
    journal, June 1987


    Conifer root discrimination against soil nitrate and the ecology of forest succession
    journal, January 1997

    • Kronzucker, Herbert J.; Siddiqi, M. Yaeesh; Glass, Anthony D. M.
    • Nature, Vol. 385, Issue 6611
    • DOI: 10.1038/385059a0

    Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest
    journal, January 2013

    • Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong
    • Nature, Vol. 493, Issue 7433
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature11811

    Climate-smart soils
    journal, April 2016

    • Paustian, Keith; Lehmann, Johannes; Ogle, Stephen
    • Nature, Vol. 532, Issue 7597
    • DOI: 10.1038/nature17174

    Hotspots of soil N2O emission enhanced through water absorption by plant residue
    journal, June 2017

    • Kravchenko, A. N.; Toosi, E. R.; Guber, A. K.
    • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 10, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2963

    Sampling frequency affects estimates of annual nitrous oxide fluxes
    journal, November 2015

    • Barton, L.; Wolf, B.; Rowlings, D.
    • Scientific Reports, Vol. 5, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1038/srep15912

    Predicting N2O emissions from agricultural land through related soil parameters
    journal, April 2000


    Global metaanalysis of the nonlinear response of soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to fertilizer nitrogen
    journal, June 2014

    • Shcherbak, I.; Millar, N.; Robertson, G. P.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 111, Issue 25
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1322434111

    Farming for Ecosystem Services: An Ecological Approach to Production Agriculture
    journal, April 2014

    • Philip Robertson, G.; Gross, Katherine L.; Hamilton, Stephen K.
    • BioScience, Vol. 64, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu037

    Stratospheric ozone depletion due to nitrous oxide: influences of other gases
    journal, May 2012

    • Portmann, R. W.; Daniel, J. S.; Ravishankara, A. R.
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 367, Issue 1593
    • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0377

    Nitrous oxide emissions from soils: how well do we understand the processes and their controls?
    journal, July 2013

    • Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Baggs, Elizabeth M.; Dannenmann, Michael
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 368, Issue 1621
    • DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0122

    Nitrous oxide emissions during establishment of eight alternative cellulosic bioenergy cropping systems in the North Central United States
    journal, May 2015

    • Oates, Lawrence G.; Duncan, David S.; Gelfand, Ilya
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 8, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12268

    Towards an agronomic assessment of N2O emissions: a case study for arable crops
    journal, November 2010


    Climate, duration, and N placement determine N 2 O emissions in reduced tillage systems: a meta-analysis
    journal, August 2012


    Nitrogen in Agriculture: Balancing the Cost of an Essential Resource
    journal, November 2009


    Testing a Conceptual Model of Soil Emissions of Nitrous and Nitric Oxides
    journal, January 2000


    Effects of Biodiversity on Ecosystem Functioning: a Consensus of Current Knowledge
    journal, February 2005

    • Hooper, D. U.; Chapin, F. S.; Ewel, J. J.
    • Ecological Monographs, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1890/04-0922

    Challenges and opportunities for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from fertilized cropping systems
    journal, December 2012

    • Venterea, Rodney T.; Halvorson, Ardell D.; Kitchen, Newell
    • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 10, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1890/120062

    Soil Fluxes of Carbon Dioxide, Nitrous Oxide, and Methane at a Productive Temperate Deciduous Forest
    journal, January 2000


    Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Corn–Soybean Systems in the Midwest
    journal, January 2006

    • Parkin, Timothy B.; Kaspar, Thomas C.
    • Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 35, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2005.0183

    Denitrification and Organic Carbon Availability in Riparian Wetland Soils and Subsurface Sediments
    journal, January 2004

    • Hill, Alan R.; Cardaci, Mia
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 68, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2004.0320

    Contemporary Evidence of Soil Carbon Loss in the U.S. Corn Belt
    journal, January 2009

    • Senthilkumar, S.; Basso, B.; Kravchenko, A. N.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 73, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0044

    Agricultural Management and Soil Carbon Storage in Surface vs. Deep Layers
    journal, January 2011

    • Syswerda, S. P.; Corbin, A. T.; Mokma, D. L.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2009.0414

    Whole-Profile Soil Carbon Stocks: The Danger of Assuming Too Much from Analyses of Too Little
    journal, January 2011

    • Kravchenko, A. N.; Robertson, G. P.
    • Soil Science Society of America Journal, Vol. 75, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2010.0076

    Spatial Variability in a Successional Plant Community: Patterns of Nitrogen Availability
    journal, October 1988

    • Robertson, G. Philip; Hutson, Michael A.; Evans, Francis C.
    • Ecology, Vol. 69, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.2307/1941649

    Do cover crops increase or decrease nitrous oxide emissions? A meta-analysis
    journal, November 2014

    • Basche, A. D.; Miguez, F. E.; Kaspar, T. C.
    • Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, Vol. 69, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.2489/jswc.69.6.471

    The global nitrous oxide budget revisited
    journal, February 2011

    • Syakila, Alfi; Kroeze, Carolien
    • Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Management, Vol. 1, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.3763/ghgmm.2010.0007

    Nitrous oxide emissions from European agriculture – an analysis of variability and drivers of emissions from field experiments
    journal, January 2013


    Spatial and temporal variability of nitrous oxide emissions in a mixed farming landscape of Denmark
    journal, January 2012


    Hotspots of soil N2O emission enhanced through water absorption by plant residue
    journal, June 2017

    • Kravchenko, A. N.; Toosi, E. R.; Guber, A. K.
    • Nature Geoscience, Vol. 10, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2963

    Soil N2O emissions in Mediterranean arable crops as affected by reduced tillage and N rate
    journal, November 2019

    • Volpi, Iride; Ragaglini, Giorgio; Nassi o. Di Nasso, Nicoletta
    • Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, Vol. 116, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1007/s10705-019-10032-1

    The greenhouse gas cost of agricultural intensification with groundwater irrigation in a Midwest U.S. row cropping system
    journal, October 2018

    • McGill, Bonnie M.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Millar, Neville
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 24, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14472

    Environmental factors function as constraints on soil nitrous oxide fluxes in bioenergy feedstock cropping systems
    journal, October 2018

    • Duncan, David S.; Oates, Lawrence G.; Gelfand, Ilya
    • GCB Bioenergy, Vol. 11, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12572

    Gross, Background, and Net Anthropogenic Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soybean, Corn, and Wheat Croplands
    journal, January 2019

    • Della Chiesa, Tomas; Piñeiro, Gervasio; Yahdjian, Laura
    • Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol. 48, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.2134/jeq2018.07.0262