Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 2569–2579 | Cite as

Producing more grain yield of rice with less ammonia volatilization and greenhouse gases emission using slow/controlled-release urea

  • Chen Guo
  • Tao Ren
  • Pengfei Li
  • Bin Wang
  • Jialong Zou
  • Saddam Hussain
  • Rihuan Cong
  • Lishu Wu
  • Jianwei Lu
  • Xiaokun LiEmail author
Research Article


Ammonia (NH3) volatilization and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields contaminate the atmospheric environment and lead to global warming. Field trials (2013–2015) were conducted to estimate the influences of different types of fertilization practices on grain yield, NH3 volatilization, and methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in a double rice cropping system in Central China. Results showed that grain yields of rice were improved significantly by using slow/controlled-release urea (S/C-RU). Compared with farmers’ fertilizer practice (FFP) treatment, average annual grain yield with application of polymer-coated urea (CRU), nitrapyrin-treated urea (CP), and urea with effective microorganism (EM) treatments was increased by 18.0%, 16.2%, and 15.4%, respectively. However, the effects on NH3 volatilization and CH4 and N2O emissions differed in diverse S/C-RU. Compared with that of the FFP treatment, the annual NH3 volatilization, CH4 emission, and N2O emissions of the CRU treatment were decreased by 64.8%, 19.7%, and 35.2%, respectively; the annual CH4 and N2O emissions of the CP treatment were reduced by 33.7% and 40.3%, respectively, while the NH3 volatilization was increased by 18.5%; the annual NH3 and N2O emissions of the EM treatment were reduced by 6.3% and 28.7%, while the CH4 emission was improved by 4.3%. Overall, CP showed the best emission reduction with a decrement of 34.3% in global warming potential (GWP) and 44.4% in the greenhouse gas intensity (GHGI), followed by CRU treatment with a decrement of 21.1% in GWP and 31.7% in GHGI, compared with that of the FFP treatment. Hence, it is suggested that polymer-coated urea can be a feasible way of mitigating NH3 volatilization and CH4 and N2O emission from rice fields while maintaining or increasing the grain yield in Chinese, the double rice cropping system.


Ammonia volatilization Methane and nitrous oxide emission,·Slow/controlled-release urea Grain yield Double rice cropping system 


Funding information

This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0200108), the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest from the Ministry of Agriculture, China (201303103), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2662017JC010).


  1. Akiyama H, Yagi K, Yan XY (2005) Direct N2O emissions from rice paddy fields: summary of available data. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 19Google Scholar
  2. Bastami MS, Jones DL, Chadwick DR (2016) Reduction of methane emission during slurry storage by the addition of effective microorganisms and excessive carbon source from brewing sugar. J Environ Qual 45:2016–2022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bodelier PLE, Laanbroek HJ (2004) Nitrogen as a regulatory factor of methane oxidation in soils and sediments. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 47:265–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boeckx P, Xu X, Van Cleemput O (2005) Mitigation of N2O and CH4 emission from rice and wheat cropping systems using dicyandiamide and hydroquinone. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 72:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burney JA, Davis SJ, Lobell DB (2010) Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:12052–12057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cai ZC, Xing GX, Yan XY, Xu H, Tsuruta H, Yagi K, Minami K (1997) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice paddy fields as affected by nitrogen fertilisers and water management. Plant Soil 196:7–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cai ZC, Shan YH, Xu H (2007) Effects of nitrogen fertilization on CH4 emissions from rice fields. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 53:353–361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cassman KG, Dobermann A, Walters DT, Yang H (2003) Meeting cereal demand while protecting natural resources and improving environmental quality. Annu Rev Environ Resour 28:315–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen AQ, Lei BK, Hu WL, Lu Y, Mao YT, Duan ZY, Shi ZS (2015) Characteristics of ammonia volatilization on rice grown under different nitrogen application rates and its quantitative predictions in Erhai Lake Watershed, China. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 101:139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Choudhury ATMA, Kennedy IR (2005) Nitrogen fertilizer losses from rice soils and control of environmental pollution problems. Commun Soil Sci Plant Anal 36:1625–1639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cui PY, Fan FL, Yin C, Li ZJ, Song AL, Wan YF, Liang YC (2013) Urea- and nitrapyrin-affected N2O emission is coupled mainly with ammonia oxidizing bacteria growth in microcosms of three typical Chinese arable soils. Soil Biol Biochem 66:214–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dai Y, Di HJ, Cameron KC, He JZ (2013) Effects of nitrogen application rate and a nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide on ammonia oxidizers and N2O emissions in a grazed pasture soil. Sci Total Environ 465:125–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Erisman JW, Sutton MA, Galloway J, Klimont Z, Winiwarter W (2008) How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world. Nat Geosci 1:636–639CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fageria NK (2007) Yield physiology of rice. J Plant Nutr 30:843–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fan XH, Song YS, Lin DX, Yang LZ, Luo JF (2006) Ammonia volatilization losses and N-15 balance from urea applied to rice on a paddy soil. J Environ Sci 18:299–303Google Scholar
  16. Feng JF, Chen CQ, Zhang Y, Song ZW, Deng AX, Zheng CY, Zhang WJ (2013) Impacts of cropping practices on yield-scaled greenhouse gas emissions from rice fields in China: a meta-analysis. Agric Ecosyst Environ 164:220–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferm M (1998) Atmospheric ammonia and ammonium transport in Europe and critical loads: a review. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 51:5–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Galloway JN, Aber JD, Erisman JW, Seitzinger SP, Howarth RW, Cowling EB, Cosby B (2003) The nitrogen cascade. Bioscience 53:341–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Godfray HCJ, Beddington JR, Crute IR, Haddad L, Lawrence D, Muir JF, Pretty JN, Robinson S, Thomas SM, Toulmin C (2010) Food security: the challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science 327:812–818CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grant C (2005) Policy aspects related to the use of enhanced-efficiency fertilizers: viewpoint of the scientific community. In: Moiser A, Galloway J (eds) IFA international workshop on enhanced-efficiency fertilizers. International Fertilizer Association, Frankfurt, p 1–11Google Scholar
  21. Hillier J, Brentrup F, Wattenbach M, Walter C, Garcia-Suarez T, Mila-I-Canals L, Smith PA (2012) Which cropland greenhouse gas mitigation options give the greatest benefits in different world regions? Climate and soil-specific predictions from integrated empirical models. Glob Chang Biol 18:1880–1894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hou AX, Chen GX, Wang ZP, Van Cleemput O, Patrick WH (2000) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from a rice field in relation to soil redox and microbiological processes. Soil Sci Soc Am J 64:2180–2186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hu C, Qi YC (2013) Long-term effective microorganisms application promote growth and increase yields and nutrition of wheat in China. Eur J Agron 46:63–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hussain S, Peng SB, Fahad S, Khaliq A, Huang JL, Cui KH, Nie LX (2015) Rice management interventions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:3342–3360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Inubushi K, Acquaye S, Tsukagoshi S, Shibahara F, Komatsu S (2002) Effects of controlled-release coated urea (CRCU) on soil microbial biomass N in paddy fields examined by the 15 N tracer technique. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 63:291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. IPCC (2006) IPCC 2006 revised good practice guidelines for greenhouse gas inventories. In: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies. Japan, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  27. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007-the physical science basis, contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Jantalia CP, Halvorson AD, Follett RF, Rodrigues Alves BJ, Polidoro JC, Urquiaga S (2012) Nitrogen source effects on ammonia volatilization as measured with semi-static chambers. Agron J 104:1595–1603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Javaid A (2006) Foliar application of effective microorganisms on pea as an alternative fertilizer. Agron Sustain Dev 26:257–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Khaliq A, Abbasi MK, Hussain T (2006) Effects of integrated use of organic and inorganic nutrient sources with effective microorganisms (EM) on seed cotton yield in Pakistan. Bioresour Technol 97:967–972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kightley D, Nedwell DB, Cooper M (1995) Capacity for methane oxidation in landfill cover soils measured in laboratory-scale soil microcosms. Appl Environ Microbiol 61:592–601Google Scholar
  32. Kim D-G, Saggar S, Roudier P (2012) The effect of nitrification inhibitors on soil ammonia emissions in nitrogen managed soils: a meta-analysis. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 93:51–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kowalchuk GA, Stephen JR (2001) Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria: a model for molecular microbial ecology. Annu Rev Microbiol 55:485–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kruger M, Frenzel P (2003) Effects of N-fertilisation on CH4 oxidation and production, and consequences for CH4 emissions from microcosms and rice fields. Glob Chang Biol 9:773–784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lan T, Han Y, Roelcke M, Nieder R, Cai ZC (2013) Effects of the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD) on gross N transformation rates and mitigating N2O emission in paddy soils. Soil Biol Biochem 67:174–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Le Mer J, Roger P (2001) Production, oxidation, emission and consumption of methane by soils: a review. Eur J Soil Biol 37:25–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Li CF, Zhang ZS, Guo LJ, Cai ML, Cao CG (2013) Emissions of CH4 and CO2 from double rice cropping systems under varying tillage and seeding methods. Atmos Environ 80:438–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Li XL, Zhang GB, Xu H, Cai ZC, Yagi K (2009) Effect of timing of joint application of hydroquinone and dicyandiamide on nitrous oxide emission from irrigated lowland rice paddy field. Chemosphere 75:1417–1422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lindau CW, DeLaune RD, Patrick WH, Bollich PK (1990) Fertilizer effects on dinitrogen, nitrous oxide, and methane emissions from lowland rice. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:1789–1794CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Linquist B, van Groenigen KJ, Adviento-Borbe MA, Pittelkow C, van Kessel C (2012) An agronomic assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from major cereal crops. Glob Chang Biol 18:194–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Liu TQ, Fan DJ, Zhang XX, Chen J, Li CF, Cao CG (2015a) Deep placement of nitrogen fertilizers reduces ammonia volatilization and increases nitrogen utilization efficiency in no-tillage paddy fields in central China. Field Crop Res 184:80–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Liu YL, Zhou ZQ, Zhang XX, Xu X, Chen H, Xiong ZQ (2015b) Net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity from the double rice system with integrated soil-crop system management: a three-year field study. Atmos Environ 116:92–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lyu XX, Yang YC, Li YC, Fan XH, Wan YS, Geng YQ, Zhang M (2015) Polymer-coated tablet urea improved rice yield and nitrogen use efficiency. Agron J 107:1837–1844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Majumdar D, Kumar S, Pathak H, Jain MC, Kumar U (2000) Reducing nitrous oxide emission from an irrigated rice field of North India with nitrification inhibitors. Agric Ecosyst Environ 81:163–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Malla G, Bhatia A, Pathak H, Prasad S, Jain N, Singh J (2005) Mitigating nitrous oxide and methane emissions from soil in rice–wheat system of the Indo-Gangetic plain with nitrification and urease inhibitors. Chemosphere 58:141–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Menéndez S, Merino P, Pinto M, González-Murua C, Estavillo JM (2009) Effect of N-(n-butyl) thiophosphoric triamide and 3,4 dimethylpyrazole phosphate on gaseous emissions from grasslands under different soil water contents. J Environ Qual 38:27–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Menendez S, Merino P, Pinto M, Gonzalez-Murua C, Estavillo JM (2006) 3,4-dimethylpyrazol phosphate effect on nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, ammonia, and carbon dioxide emissions from grasslands. J Environ Qual 35:973–981CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nayak D, Saetnan E, Cheng K, Wang W, Koslowski F, Cheng YF, Zhu WY, Wang JK, Liu JX, Moran DC, Yan XY, Cardenas LM, Newbold CJ, Pan GX, Lu YL, Smith P (2015) Management opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from Chinese agriculture. Agric Ecosyst Environ 209:108–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Park GS, Khan AR, Kwak Y, Hong SJ, Jung B, Ullah I, Kim JG, Shin JH (2016) An improved effective microorganism (EM) soil ball-making method for water quality restoration. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23(2):1100–1107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Peng SB, Buresh RJ, Huang JL, Yang JC, Zou YB, Zhong XH, Wang GH, Zhang FS (2006) Strategies for overcoming low agronomic nitrogen use efficiency in irrigated rice systems in China. Field Crop Res 96:37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ray DK, Mueller ND, West PC, Foley JA (2013) Yield trends are insufficient to double global crop production by 2050. PLoS One 8:e66428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Reay DS, Nedwell DB (2004) Methane oxidation in temperate soils: effects of inorganic N. Soil Biol Biochem 36:2059–2065CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Shang QY, Yang XX, Gao CM, Wu PP, Liu JJ, Xu YC, Shen QR, Zou JM, Guo SW (2011) Net annual global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity in Chinese double rice-cropping systems: a 3-year field measurement in long-term fertilizer experiments. Glob Chang Biol 17:2196–2210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shang QY, Gao CM, Yang XX, Wu PP, Ling N, Shen QR, Guo SW (2014) Ammonia volatilization in Chinese double rice-cropping systems: a 3-year field measurement in long-term fertilizer experiments. Biol Fertil Soils 50:715–725CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shoji S, Gandeza AT, Kimura K (1991) Simulation of crop response to polyolefin-coated urea: II. Nitrogen uptake by corn. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55:1468–1473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shoji S, Kanno H (1994) Use of polyolefin-coated fertilizers for increasing fertilizer efficiency and reducing nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions. Fertil Res 39:147–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Soon YK, Malhi SS, Lemke RL, Lupwayi NZ, Grant CA (2011) Effect of polymer-coated urea and tillage on the dynamics of available N and nitrous oxide emission from Gray Luvisols. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 90:267–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Sun HJ, Zhang HL, Powlson D, Min J, Shi WM (2015) Rice production, nitrous oxide emission and ammonia volatilization as impacted by the nitrification inhibitor 2-chloro-6-(trichloromethyl)-pyridine. Field Crop Res 173:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tian Z, Wang JJ, Liu S, Zhang Z, Dodla SK, Myers G (2015) Application effects of coated urea and urease and nitrification inhibitors on ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions from a subtropical cotton field of the Mississippi delta region. Sci Total Environ 533:329–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Van Beek CL, Meerburg BG, Schils RLM, Verhagen J, Kuikman PJ (2010) Feeding the world’s increasing population while limiting climate change impacts: linking N2O and CH4 emissions from agriculture to population growth. Environ Sci Pol 13:89–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Van Groenigen JW, Velthof GL, Oenema O, Van Groenigen KJ, Van Kessel C (2010) Towards an agronomic assessment of N2O emissions: a case study for arable crops. Eur J Soil Sci 61:903–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang B, Li YE, Wan YF, Qin XB, Gao QZ, Liu S, Li JL (2016) Modifying nitrogen fertilizer practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a Chinese double rice cropping system. Agric Ecosyst Environ 215:100–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wang ZP, Ineson P (2003) Methane oxidation in a temperate coniferous forest soil: effects of inorganic N. Soil Biol Biochem 35:427–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Weller S, Janz B, Joerg L, Kraus D, Racela HSU, Wassmann R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Kiese R (2016) Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potential of traditional and diversified tropical rice rotation systems. Glob Chang Biol 22:432–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wrage N, Velthof GL, van Beusichem ML, Oenema O (2001) Role of nitrifier denitrification in the production of nitrous oxide. Soil Biol Biochem 33:1723–1732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Xu JZ, Peng SZ, Hou HJ, Yang SH, Luo YF, Wang WG (2013a) Gaseous losses of nitrogen by ammonia volatilization and nitrous oxide emissions from rice paddies with different irrigation management. Irrig Sci 31:983–994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Xu JZ, Peng SZ, Yang SH, Wang WG (2012) Ammonia volatilization losses from a rice paddy with different irrigation and nitrogen managements. Agric Water Manag 104:184–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Xu JZ, Liao LX, Tan JY, Shao XH (2013b) Ammonia volatilization in gemmiparous and early seedling stages from direct seeding rice fields with different nitrogen management strategies: a pots experiment. Soil Tillage Res 126:169–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Xu MG, Li DC, Li JM, Qin DZ, Hosen Y, Shen HP, Cong RH, He XH (2013c) Polyolefin-coated urea decreases ammonia volatilization in a double rice system of Southern China. Agron J 105:277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Xu XK, Wang YS, Zheng XH, Wang MX, Wang ZJ, Zhou LK, Cleemput OV (2000) Methane emission from a simulated rice field ecosystem as influenced by hydroquinone and dicyandiamide. Sci Total Environ 263:243–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Yan XY, Yagi K, Akiyama H, Akimoto H (2005) Statistical analysis of the major variables controlling methane emission from rice fields. Glob Chang Biol 11:1131–1141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yang YC, Zhang M, Li YC, Fan XH, Geng YQ (2013) Controlled-release urea commingled with rice seeds reduced emission of ammonia and nitrous oxide in rice paddy soil. J Environ Qual 42:1661–1673CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Yao ZS, Zhou ZX, Zheng XH, Xie BH, Mei BL, Wang R, Butterbach-Bahl K, Zhu JG (2010) Effects of organic matter incorporation on nitrous oxide emissions from rice-wheat rotation ecosystems in China. Plant Soil 327:315–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Zaman M, Nguyen ML, Blennerhassett JD, Quin BF (2008) Reducing NH3, N2O and NO3--N losses from a pasture soil with urease or nitrification inhibitors and elemental S-amended nitrogenous fertilizers. Biol Fertil Soils 44:693–705CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Zou JW, Huang Y, Jiang JY, Zheng XH, Sass RL (2005) A 3-year field measurement of methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice paddies in China: effects of water regime, crop residue, and fertilizer application. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 19:153–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zou JW, Huang Y, Zheng XH, Wang YS (2007) Quantifying direct N2O emissions in paddy fields during rice growing season in mainland China: dependence on water regime. Atmos Environ 41:8030–8042CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tao Ren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pengfei Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bin Wang
    • 3
  • Jialong Zou
    • 4
  • Saddam Hussain
    • 5
  • Rihuan Cong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lishu Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianwei Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaokun Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River)Ministry of AgricultureWuhanChina
  3. 3.Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Key Laboratory of Agricultural EnvironmentMinistry of Agriculture of P. R. ChinaBeijingChina
  4. 4.Soil and Fertilizer Station of Jingzhou CountyJingzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of AgronomyUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations