, Volume 374, Issue 1-2, pp 285-297
Date: 25 Aug 2013

Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from direct-seeded and seedling-transplanted rice paddies in southeast China

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Background and aims

The rice production is experiencing a shift from conventionally seedling-transplanted (TPR) to direct-seeded (DSR) cropping systems in Southeast Asia. Besides the difference in rice crop establishment, water regime is typically characterized as water-saving moist irrigation for DSR and flooding-midseason drainage-reflooding and moist irrigation for TPR fields, respectively. A field experiment was conducted to quantify methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from the DSR and TPR rice paddies in southeast China.


Seasonal measurements of CH4 and N2O fluxes from the DSR and TPR plots were simultaneously taken by static chamber-GC technique.


Seasonal fluxes of CH4 averaged 1.58 mg m−2 h−1 and 1.02 mg m−2 h−1 across treatments in TPR and DSR rice paddies, respectively. Compared with TPR cropping systems, seasonal N2O emissions from DSR cropping systems were increased by 49 % and 46 % for the plots with or without N application, respectively. The emission factors of N2O were estimated to be 0.45 % and 0.69 % of N application, with a background emission of 0.65 and 0.95 kg N2O-N ha−1 under the TPR and DSR cropping regimes, respectively. Rice biomass and grain yield were significantly greater in the DSR than in the TPR cropping systems. The net global warming potential (GWP) of CH4 and N2O emissions were comparable between the two cropping systems, while the greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI) was significantly lower in the DSR than in the TPR cropping systems.


Higher grain yield, comparable GWP, and lower GHGI suggest that the DSR instead of conventional TPR rice cropping regime would weaken the radiative forcing of rice production in terms of per unit of rice grain yield in China, and DSR rice cropping regime could be a promising rice development alternative in mainland China.