Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 01 February 2017, Vol.238, pp.67-77
Little work has been done on nitrous oxide (N O) emissions from nitrogen-fertigation systems, despite the greater degrees of control allowed over fertilizer N fate. More fertigation users are adopting high-frequency (HF) N application schedules to improve nitrogen use efficiency and reduce nitrate (NO ) leaching. The possibility is raised that this practice may also lower N O emissions, through effects on soil N concentrations and soil microbial populations. At the same time, NO -based N-fertilizers are frequently selected for use in HF systems, where they should be more immediately available to plants than ammoniacal fertilizers. This choice of N-source is likely to affect N O emissions. We monitored surface emissions of N O in an almond orchard ( [Mill.] DA Webb) in Belridge, California. Fertigation treatments were 4x year (Standard) urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), 20x year (HF) UAN and 20x year (HF) CaNO + KNO . Estimated surface emissions were HF UAN 〉 Standard UAN 〉 HF NO3, with differences only significant between the HF treatments, where HF UAN emitted 2.0 times the N O seen from HF NO3. Net production was also monitored by depth in the soil using sampling tubes and Fickian diffusion calculations. UAN typically had highest N O production at 10–15 cm depth, while N O was generally reduced to N below 20 cm in all treatments. Differences were seen in the distribution of NH and NO on the soil exchange complex and in soil solution, with data from 60 cm suggesting that leaching hazards could be greater from Standard UAN than from HF NO3. Multiple linear regression of N O production with predictors had the best fit at 15 cm, where extractable NH , WFPS and temperature together accounted for an adjusted R of 0.68. Persistent soil microbial changes were seen in denitrification capacity, with HF UAN = HF NO3 〉 Standard UAN, while 3% O assays suggested high contributions of N O from nitrifier denitrification in the fertigation context. High-frequency fertigation with ammoniacal fertilizers did not mitigate N O emissions, but nitrate-based fertilizers did, suggesting that N sources for fertigation warrant careful study.
Agriculture ; Environmental Sciences
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