Nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions from an irrigated cotton field in Northern China
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Cotton is one of the major crops worldwide and delivers fibers to textile industries across the globe. Its cultivation requires high nitrogen (N) input and additionally irrigation, and the combination of both has the potential to trigger high emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO), thereby contributing to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Using an automated static chamber measuring system, we monitored in high temporal resolution N2O and NO fluxes in an irrigated cotton field in Northern China, between January 1st and December 31st 2008. Mean daily fluxes varied between 5.8 to 373.0 µg N2O-N m−2 h−1 and −3.7 to 135.7 µg NO-N m−2 h−1, corresponding to an annual emission of 2.6 and 0.8 kg N ha−1 yr−1 for N2O and NO, respectively. The highest emissions of both gases were observed directly after the N fertilization and lasted approximately 1 month. During this time period, the emission was 0.85 and 0.22 kg N ha−1 for N2O and NO, respectively, and was responsible for 32.3% and 29.0% of the annual total N2O and NO loss. Soil temperature, moisture and mineral N content significantly affected the emissions of both gases (p < 0.01). Direct emission factors were estimated to be 0.95% (N2O) and 0.24% (NO). We also analyzed the effects of sampling time and frequency on the estimations of annual cumulative N2O and NO emissions and found that low frequency measurements produced annual estimates which differed widely from those that were based on continuous measurements.
KeywordsEmission factor Soil nitrogen Fertilization Irrigation Cotton Sampling frequency
This study was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (kzcx2-yw-204), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40711130636), the Ministry of Science and Technology of P.R. China (2008BAD95B13), the European Union (NitroEurope IP 017841), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (LWR/2003/039) and the Helmholtz-CAS joint laboratory project “ENTRANCE”. Special thanks go to Guangren Liu, Pushan Zheng, Huajun Tong and Rui Wang for their technical support and help during field measurements. Thanks also go to two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.
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