, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 597-604
Date: 19 Sep 2007

Effect of silicate fertilizer on reducing methane emission during rice cultivation

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Slag-type silicate fertilizer, which contains high amount of active iron oxide, a potential source of electron acceptor, was applied at the rate of 0, 2, 6, 10, and 20 Mg ha−1 to reduce methane (CH4) emission from rice planted in potted soils. Methane emission rates measured by closed chamber method decreased significantly with increasing levels of silicate fertilizer application during rice cultivation. Soil redox potential (Eh) decreased rapidly after flooding, but floodwater pH and soil pH increased significantly with increasing levels of silicate fertilizer application. Iron concentrations in potted soils and in percolated water significantly increased with the increasing levels of silicate fertilizer application, which acted as oxidizing agents and electron acceptors, and thereby suppressed CH4 emissions. Silicate fertilization significantly decreased CH4 production activity, while it increased carbon dioxide (CO2) production activity. Rice plant growth, yield parameters, and grain yield were positively influenced by silicate application levels. The maximum increase in grain yield (17% yield increase over the control) was found with 10 Mg ha−1 silicate application along with 28% reduction in total CH4 flux during rice cultivation. It is, therefore, concluded that slag-type silicate fertilizer could be a suitable soil amendment for reducing CH4 emissions as well as sustaining rice productivity and restoring the soil nutrient balance in rice paddy soil.