Advertisement

Water, Air, & Soil Pollution: Focus

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 107–115 | Cite as

Determinants of Nitrous Oxide Emission from Agricultural Drainage Waters

  • D. S. ReayEmail author
  • A. C. Edwards
  • K. A. Smith
Article

Abstract

Emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural drainage waters are poorly quantified and its determinants are not fully understood. Nitrous oxide formation in agricultural soils is known to increase in response to N fertiliser application, but the response of N2O in field drainage waters is unknown. This investigation combined an intensive study of the direct flux of N2O from the surface of a fertilised barley field with measurement of dissolved N2O and nitrate (NO3) concentrations in the same field’s drainage waters. Dissolved N2O in drainage waters showed a clear response to field N fertilisation, following an identical pattern to direct N2O flux from the field surface. The range in N2O concentrations between individual field drains sampled on the same day was large, indicating considerable spatial variability exists at the farm scale. A consistent pattern of very rapid outgassing of the dissolved N2O in open drainage ditches was accentuated at a weir, where increased turbulence led to a clear drop in dissolved N2O concentration. This study underlines the need for carefully planned sampling campaigns wherever whole farm or catchment N2O emission budgets are attempted. It adds weight to the argument for the downward revision of the IPCC emission factor (EF5-g) for NO3 in drainage waters.

Keywords

denitrification emission factor greenhouse gas leaching nitrification 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bouwman, A. F.: 1996, ‘Direct Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Agricultural Soils’, Nutr. Cycling Agroecosyst. 46, 53–70.Google Scholar
  2. Dobbie, K. E. and Smith, K. A.: 2003, ‘Nitrous Oxide Emission Factors for Agricultural Soils in Great Britain: The Impact of Soil Water-Filled Pore Space and Other Controlling Variables’, Global Change Biol. 9, 204–218.Google Scholar
  3. Domburg, P., Edwards, A. C. and Sinclair, A. H.: 2000, ‘A Comparison of N and P Inputs to the Soil from Fertilizers and Manures Summarized at Farm and Catchment Scale’, J. Agric. Sci. 134, 147–158.Google Scholar
  4. Dowdell R. J., Burford J. R. and Crees R.: 1979, ‘Losses of Nitrous Oxide Dissolved in Drainage Water from Agricultural Land’, Nature 278, 342–343.Google Scholar
  5. Hack, J. and Kaupenjohann: 2002, ‘N2O Discharge with Drain Water from Agricultural Soils of the upper Neckar Region in Southern Germany’, in Van Ham, J., Baede, A. P. M., Guicherit, R. and Williams-Jacobse, J. G. F. M. (eds.), Proceedings of Third International Symposium on Non-CO2Greenhouse Gases, Maastricht, The Netherlands, pp. 185–190.Google Scholar
  6. Harrison, J. and Matson, P.: 2003, ‘Patterns and Controls of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Waters Draining a Subtropical Agricultural Valley’, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 17(3), 1080.Google Scholar
  7. Hasegawa, K., Hanaki, K., Matsuo, T. and Hidaka S.: 2000, ‘Nitrous Oxide from the Agricultural Water System Contaminated with High Nitrogen’, Chemosphere Global Change Sci. 2, 335–345.Google Scholar
  8. Hénault, C., Devis, X., Kucas, J. L. and Germon, J. C.: 1998, ‘Influence of Different Agricultural Practices (Type of Crop, Form of N-Fertilizer) on Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions’, Biol. Fertil. Soils 27, 299–306.Google Scholar
  9. Hiscock, K. M., Bateman, A. S., Fukada, T. and Dennis, P. F.: 2002, ‘The Concentration and Distribution of Groundwater N2O in the chalk aquifer of Eastern England’, in Van Ham, J., Baede, A. P. M., Guicherit, R. and Williams-Jacobse, J. G. F. M. (eds.), Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 185–190.Google Scholar
  10. MacKenzie, A. F., Fan, M. X. and Cadrin, F.: 1998, ‘Nitrous Oxide Emission in Three Years as Affected by Tillage, Corn-Soybean-Alfalfa Rotations, and Nitrogen Fertilization’, J. Environ. Qual. 27, 698–703.Google Scholar
  11. Mosier, A, Kroeze, C., Nevison, C., Oenema, O., Seitzinger, S. and van Cleemput, O.: 1998, ‘Closing the global N2O budget: Nitrous Oxide Emissions Through the Agricultural Nitrogen Cycle – OECD/IPCC/IEA phase II Development of IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Methodology’, Nutr. Cycling Agroecosys. 52, 225–248.Google Scholar
  12. Reay, D.S., Smith, K.A. and Edwards, A.C.: 2004, ‘Nitrous Oxide in Agricultural Drainage Waters Following Field Fertilisation’, Water, Air Soil Pollut: Focus 4, 437–451.Google Scholar
  13. Reay, D. S., Smith, K. A. and Edwards, A. C.: 2003, ‘Nitrous Oxide in Agricultural Drainage Waters’, Global Change Biol. 9(2), 195–203.Google Scholar
  14. Sahrawat, K. and Keeney, D. R.: 1986, ‘Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils’, in Stewart, B.A. (ed.), Advances in Soil Science, Vol. 4, Springer, New York, pp. 103–158.Google Scholar
  15. Seitzinger, S. P. and Kroeze, C.: 1998, ‘Global Distribution of Nitrous Oxide Production and N Inputs in Freshwater and Coastal Marine Ecosystems’, Global Biogeochem. Cycles 12, 93–113.Google Scholar
  16. Skiba, U. M., Sheppard, L. J., Macdonald, J. and Fowler, D.: 1998, ‘Some Key Environmental Variables Controlling Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Agricultural and Semi-Natural Soils in Scotland’, Atmos. Environ. 32(19), 3311–3320.Google Scholar
  17. Smith, K. A., Clayton, H., McTaggart, I. P., Thomson, P. E., Arah, J. R. M. and Scott, A.: 1995, ‘The Measurement of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Soils by Using Chambers’, Philos. Trans. Royal Soc. London Ser. A 351, 327–338.Google Scholar
  18. Smith, K. A., Thomson, P. E., Clayton, H., McTaggart, I.P. and Conen, F.: 1998, ‘Effects of Temperature, Water Content and Nitrogen Fertilisation on Emissions of Nitrous Oxide by Soils’, Atmos. Environ. 32, 3301–3309.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of GeoSciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Macaulay InstituteAberdeenUK

Personalised recommendations