Plant and Soil

, Volume 309, Issue 1–2, pp 239–251 | Cite as

Simulation of N2O emissions from rain-fed wheat and the impact of climate variation in southeastern Australia

  • Yong Li
  • Deli ChenEmail author
  • Fiona Barker-Reid
  • Richard Eckard
Regular Article


The Water and Nitrogen Management model (WNMM) was applied to simulate N2O emissions from a rain-fed wheat cropping system on a loam-textured soil for two treatments, conventional cultivation with residue burn (CC + BURN + N) and direct drill with residue retention (DD + RET + N), at Rutherglen in southeastern Australia from January 2004 to March 2005. Both treatments received the same amount of nitrogen (N) fertiliser. The WNMM satisfactorily simulated the soil water content, mineral N contents and N2O emissions from the soil, as compared with the field observations for both treatments. The simulated nitrification-induced N2O emissions accounted for 45% and 34% of total N2O emissions for the treatments CC + BURN + N and DD + RET + N, respectively. The calibrated WNMM was used to simulate N2O emissions from this soil using historic daily weather data from 1968 to 2004 and applying seven scenarios of fertiliser N application. Correlation analysis found that the annual N2O emissions for this rain-fed wheat cropping system were significantly correlated to the annual average of daily maximum air temperature (r = 0.51 for CC + BURN + N and 0.56 for DD + RET + N), annual rainfall (r = −0.56 for CC + BURN + N and −0.59 for DD + RET + N) and fertiliser N application rate (r = 0.43 for CC + BURN + N and 0.31 for DD + RET + N). Based on the 37-year historic simulations, multivariate regression models for estimating annual N2O emissions were developed to account for climatic variation, and explained about 50% of variations of annual N2O emissions estimated by WNMM.


N2O emissions Wheat WNMM Simulation Emission factor Climate variation 



This work was financed by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), LWR-2003-039.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Li
    • 1
  • Deli Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fiona Barker-Reid
    • 2
  • Richard Eckard
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Resource Management, Faculty of Land and Food ResourcesThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Primary IndustriesParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.School of Agricultural and Food Systems, Faculty of Land and Food ResourcesThe University of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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