, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 155-165

Emissions of nitrous oxide from boreal agricultural clay and loamy sand soils

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Long-term studies of greenhouse gas fluxes from agricultural soils in different climate regions are needed to improve the existing calculation models used in greenhouse gas inventories. The aim of this study was to obtain more information on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural mineral soils in the boreal region. N2O emissions were studied during 2000–2002 on two soil types in Finland, a loamy sand and a clay with plots of grass, barley and fallow. N2O fluxes were measured with static chambers throughout the year. Other parameters measured were water filled pore space (WFPS), soil mineral nitrogen concentration, soil porosity, soil temperature and depth of soil frost. The annual fluxes from the clay soil ranged from 3.7 to 7.8 kg N ha–1 and those from sandy loam from 1.5 to 7.5 kg N ha–1. On average 60% of the annual fluxes occurred outside the growing season, from October to April. Increasing the number of freeze-thaw events was found to increase the fluxes during winter and during the thawing period in spring. The results suggest that N2O fluxes from these boreal mineral soils do not vary much as a function of applied fertiliser N and could probably be better estimated from soil physical properties, including soil porosity.