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Title: Nitrous Oxide (N 2O) Emissions from Subsurface Soils of Agricultural Ecosystems

Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N 2O) is a prime greenhouse gas and cultivated soils are the most important anthropogenic source. N 2O production and consumption are known to occur at depths below the A or Ap horizon, but their magnitude in situ is largely unknown. At a site in SW Michigan, USA, we measured N 2O concentrations at different soil depths and used diffusivity models to examine the importance of depth-specific production and consumption. Additionally, we tested the influence of crop and management practices on subsurface N 2O production in (1) till versus no-till, (2) a nitrogen fertilizer gradient, and (3) perennial crops including successional vegetation. N 2O concentrations below 20 cm exceeded atmospheric concentrations by up to 900 times, and profile concentrations increased markedly with depth except immediately after fertilization when production was intense in the surface horizon, and in winter, when surface emissions were blocked by ice. Diffusivity analysis showed that N 2O production at depth was especially important in annual crops, accounting for over 50% of total N 2O production when crops were fertilized at recommended rates. At nitrogen fertilizer rates exceeding crop need, subsurface N 2O production contributed 25–35% of total surface emissions. Dry conditions deepened the maximummore » depth of N 2O production. Tillage did not. In systems with perennial vegetation, subsurface N 2O production contributed less than 20% to total surface emissions. Results suggest that the fraction of total N 2O produced in subsurface horizons can be substantial in annual crops, is low under perennial vegetation, appears to be largely controlled by subsurface nitrogen and moisture, and is insensitive to tillage.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Michigan State Univ., Hickory Corners, MI (United States). W. K. Kellogg Biological Station; CiBO Technologies, Cambridge, MA (United States)
  2. Michigan State Univ., Hickory Corners, MI (United States). W. K. Kellogg Biological Station
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
USDOE Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, Madison, WI (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); US National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement; Long-Term Ecological Research
OSTI Identifier:
1556070
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0018409; FC02-07ER64494; DEB 1110683; DEB 1027253; DEB 1637653
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecosystems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Ecosystems; Journal ID: ISSN 1432-9840
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
greenhouse gas emissions; agriculture; subsurface N2O production; N2O concentration profile; N2O diffusion; soil subsurface; alfalfa (Medicago sativa); corn (Zea mays); poplar (Populus sp.)

Citation Formats

Shcherbak, Iurii, and Robertson, G. Philip. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Subsurface Soils of Agricultural Ecosystems. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1007/s10021-019-00363-z.
Shcherbak, Iurii, & Robertson, G. Philip. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Subsurface Soils of Agricultural Ecosystems. United States. doi:10.1007/s10021-019-00363-z.
Shcherbak, Iurii, and Robertson, G. Philip. Mon . "Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Subsurface Soils of Agricultural Ecosystems". United States. doi:10.1007/s10021-019-00363-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1556070.
@article{osti_1556070,
title = {Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Emissions from Subsurface Soils of Agricultural Ecosystems},
author = {Shcherbak, Iurii and Robertson, G. Philip},
abstractNote = {Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a prime greenhouse gas and cultivated soils are the most important anthropogenic source. N2O production and consumption are known to occur at depths below the A or Ap horizon, but their magnitude in situ is largely unknown. At a site in SW Michigan, USA, we measured N2O concentrations at different soil depths and used diffusivity models to examine the importance of depth-specific production and consumption. Additionally, we tested the influence of crop and management practices on subsurface N2O production in (1) till versus no-till, (2) a nitrogen fertilizer gradient, and (3) perennial crops including successional vegetation. N2O concentrations below 20 cm exceeded atmospheric concentrations by up to 900 times, and profile concentrations increased markedly with depth except immediately after fertilization when production was intense in the surface horizon, and in winter, when surface emissions were blocked by ice. Diffusivity analysis showed that N2O production at depth was especially important in annual crops, accounting for over 50% of total N2O production when crops were fertilized at recommended rates. At nitrogen fertilizer rates exceeding crop need, subsurface N2O production contributed 25–35% of total surface emissions. Dry conditions deepened the maximum depth of N2O production. Tillage did not. In systems with perennial vegetation, subsurface N2O production contributed less than 20% to total surface emissions. Results suggest that the fraction of total N2O produced in subsurface horizons can be substantial in annual crops, is low under perennial vegetation, appears to be largely controlled by subsurface nitrogen and moisture, and is insensitive to tillage.},
doi = {10.1007/s10021-019-00363-z},
journal = {Ecosystems},
issn = {1432-9840},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

Journal Article:
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