Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 41–56 | Cite as

Effects of nitrogen split application on seasonal N2O emissions in southeast Norway

  • Aina Lundon RussenesEmail author
  • Audun Korsaeth
  • Lars R. Bakken
  • Peter Dörsch
Original Article


Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from cultivated soils correlate positively with the amount of N-fertilizer applied, but a large proportion of the annual N2O emission occurs outside the cropping season, potentially blurring this correlation. We measured the effect of split-N application (total N addition varying from 0 to 220 kg N ha−1) on N2O emissions in a spring wheat plot trial in SE Norway from the time of split-N application until harvest, and during the following winter and spring thaw period. N2O emissions were largest in the two highest N-levels, whereas yield-scaled emission (N2O intensity) was highest in the 0 N treatment. Nitrogen yield increased by 23% when adding 80 kg N ha−1 compared to adding 40 kg N ha−1 as split application, while corresponding N2O emissions were reduced by 16%. No differences in measured emissions between the N-fertilization levels were observed during the winter period or during spring thaw. Measurements of soil air composition below the snow pack revealed that N2O production continued throughout winter as the concentration in the soil air increased from 0.37 to 30.0 µL L−1 N2O over the 3 months period with continuous snow cover. However, only 7–28% of the N2O emitted during spring thaw could be ascribed to accumulated N2O, indicating de novo production of N2O in the thawing soil. The direct effect of split-N fertilizer rate on N2O emissions in sub-boreal cereal cropping was limited to the first 15–21 days after N-addition.


Nitrous oxide Split-N application rate Yield-scaled emissions Spring wheat Off-season emissions 



This research was funded through the Norwegian Research Council Project “MULTISENS—Multi-sensory precision agriculture—improving yields and reducing environmental impact” (NFR 207829); P.D. was supported by the NRC Project “AGROPRO—Agronomy for increased food production in Norway—challenges and solutions” (NFR 2255330/E40). We are grateful to Torkel Gaardløs, Jan Tangsveen and Hans Gunnar Espelien (NIBIO) and Trygve Fredriksen (NMBU) for technical assistance and Dr. Hugh Riley for valuable soil data and interpretations.

Supplementary material

10705_2019_10009_MOESM1_ESM.docx (801 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 800 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aina Lundon Russenes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Audun Korsaeth
    • 1
  • Lars R. Bakken
    • 3
  • Peter Dörsch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Technology and Systems AnalysisNorwegian Institute of Bioeconomy ResearchÅsNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life ScienceÅsNorway
  3. 3.Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food ScienceNorwegian University of Life ScienceÅsNorway

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