Article

Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 37-53

First online:

Methane Emission from Irrigated and Intensively Managed Rice Fields in Central Luzon (Philippines)

  • T.M. CortonAffiliated withAgronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Muñoz
  • , J.B. BajitaAffiliated withAgronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Muñoz
  • , F.S. GrospeAffiliated withAgronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Muñoz
  • , R.R. PamplonaAffiliated withAgronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division, Philippine Rice Research Institute, MuñozInternational Rice Research Institute
  • , C.A. AssisJr.Affiliated withAgronomy, Soils and Plant Physiology Division, Philippine Rice Research Institute, MuñozNational Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences
  • , R. WassmannAffiliated withInternational Rice Research InstituteFraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research
  • , R.S. LantinAffiliated withInternational Rice Research Institute
  • , L. V. BuendiaAffiliated withInternational Rice Research Institute

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Abstract

Methane (CH4) emissions were measured with an automated system in Central Luzon, the major rice producing area of the Philippines. Emission records covered nine consecutive seasons from 1994 to 1998 and showed a distinct seasonal pattern: an early flush of CH4 before transplanting, an increasing trend in emission rates reaching maximum toward grain ripening, and a second flush after water is withdrawn prior to harvesting. The local practice of crop management, which consists of continuous flooding and urea application, resulted in 79–184 mg CH4 m−2 d−1 in the dry season (DS) and 269–503 mg CH4 m−2 d−1 in the wet season (WS). The higher emission in the WS may be attributed to more labile carbon accumulation during the dry fallow period before the WS cropping as shown by higher % organic C. Incorporation of sulfate into the soil reduced CH4 emission rates. The use of ammonium sulfate as N fertilizer in place of urea resulted in a 25–36% reduction in CH4 emissions. Phosphogypsum reduced CH4 emissions by 72% when applied in combination with urea fertilizer. Midseason drainage reduced CH4 emission by 43%, which can be explained by the influx of oxygen into the soil. The practice of direct seeding instead of transplanting resulted in a 16–54% reduction in CH4 emission, but the mechanisms for the reducing effect are not clear. Addition of rice straw compost increased CH4 emission by only 23–30% as compared with the 162–250% increase in emissions with the use of fresh rice straw. Chicken manure combined with urea did not increase CH4 emission. Fresh rice straw has wider C/N (25 to 45) while rice straw compost has C/N = 6 to 10 and chicken manure has C/N = 5 to 8. Modifications in inorganic and organic fertilizer management and water regime did not adversely affect grain yield and are therefore potential mitigation options. Direct seeding has a lower yield potential than transplanting but is getting increasingly popular among farmers due to labor savings. Combined with a package of technologies, CH4 emission can best be reduced by (1) the practice of midseason drainage instead of continuous flooding, (2) the use of sulfate-containing fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate and phosphogypsum combined with urea; (3) direct seeding crop establishment; and (4) use of low C/N organic fertilizer such as chicken manure and rice straw compost.

inorganic fertilizer ammonium sulfate organic amendment phosphogypsum methane mitigation