Climatic Change

, Volume 142, Issue 3–4, pp 545–558 | Cite as

Responses of nitrous oxide emissions from crop rotation systems to four projected future climate change scenarios on a black Vertosol in subtropical Australia

  • Yong Li
  • De Li Liu
  • Graeme Schwenke
  • Bin Wang
  • Ian Macadam
  • Weijin Wang
  • Guangdi Li
  • Ram C Dalal


Black Vertosols of subtropical Australia emit large amounts of nitrous oxide (N2O) to the atmosphere under fertilizer-applied grain cropping compared to other Australian cropping soils. N2O emissions can be mitigated by either reducing fertilizer N inputs or altering crop rotation systems. In this study, the WNMM agroecosystem model was used to investigate the responses of N2O emissions from four different crop rotation systems including canola-wheat-barley (T1CaWB), chickpea-wheat-barley (T3CpWB), chickpea-wheat-chickpea (T4CpWCp), and chickpea-Sorghum (T5CpS) under projected future climate change scenarios on a black Vertosol at Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia. In simulations of the twenty-first century under four different scenarios for atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual N2O emissions from the four cropping systems increased with greenhouse gas forcing of the climate. The annual N2O emissions from T4CpWCp (with no fertilizer N application) were the most sensitive to climate change, with 14.3–61.9% increase compared with historic simulations of 1952–2014. The simulated T5CpS treatment (with a long fallow) kept the gross margin-scaled N2O emissions below 1 g N per Australian dollar under all climate change scenarios. This suggests that the inclusion of a long fallow in a crop rotation system can slow down the pace of increasing gross margin-scaled N2O emissions in response to climate change. Our simulation results also imply that legume rotations as mitigation options on N2O emissions may not be resilient to the future changing climate even though they can greatly reduce N2O emissions under the current climate.


Soil Organic Carbon Soil Organic Carbon Stock Denitrification Potential Future Climate Change Scenario Crop Rotation System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was financially supported by the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Supplementary material

10584_2017_1973_MOESM1_ESM.docx (939 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 938 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • De Li Liu
    • 3
  • Graeme Schwenke
    • 4
  • Bin Wang
    • 3
    • 5
  • Ian Macadam
    • 6
    • 7
  • Weijin Wang
    • 8
  • Guangdi Li
    • 3
  • Ram C Dalal
    • 8
  1. 1.Changsha Research Station for Agricultural & Environmental Monitoring and Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical AgricultureChinese Academy of SciencesChangshaChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural SciencesThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesWagga Wagga Agricultural InstituteWagga WaggaAustralia
  4. 4.NSW Department of Primary IndustriesTamworth Agricultural InstituteTamworthAustralia
  5. 5.School of Life Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  6. 6.Climate Change Research Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System ScienceUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  7. 7.Met OfficeExeterUK
  8. 8.Department of ScienceInformation Technology and InnovationBrisbaneAustralia

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