Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 95, Issue 2, pp 203–218 | Cite as

Integrated management practices significantly affect N2O emissions and wheat–maize production at field scale in the North China Plain

  • Yuefeng Shi
  • Wenliang Wu
  • Fanqiao Meng
  • Zhihua Zhang
  • Liang Zheng
  • Dapeng Wang
Original Article


In the North China Plain, a field experiment was conducted to measure nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) fluxes from a typical winter wheat–summer maize rotation system under five integrated agricultural management practices: conventional regime [excessive nitrogen (N) fertilization, flood irrigation, and rotary tillage before wheat sowing; CON], recommended regime 1 (balanced N fertilization, decreased irrigation, and deep plowing before wheat sowing; REC-1), recommended regime 2 (balanced N fertilization, decreased irrigation, and no tillage; REC-2), recommended regime 3 (controlled release N fertilizer, decreased irrigation, and no tillage; REC-3), and no N fertilizer (CK). Field measurements indicated that pulse emissions after N fertilization and irrigation contributed 19–49 % of annual N2O emissions. In contrast to CON (2.21 kg N2O-N ha−1 year−1), the other treatments resulted in significant declines in cumulative N2O emissions, which ranged from 0.96 to 1.76 kg N2O-N ha−1 year−1, indicating that the recommended practices (e.g., balanced N fertilization, controlled release N fertilizer, and decreased irrigation) offered substantial benefits for both sustaining grain yield and reducing N2O emissions. Emission factors of N fertilizer were 0.21, 0.22, 0.23, and 0.37 % under CON, REC-1, REC-3, and REC-2, respectively. Emissions of N2O during the freeze–thaw cycle period and the winter freezing period accounted for 9.7 and 5.1 % of the annual N2O budget, respectively. Thus, we recommend that the monitoring frequency should be increased during the freeze–thaw cycle period to obtain a proper estimate of total emissions. Annual CH4 fluxes from the soil were low (−1.54 to −1.12 kg CH4-C ha−1 year−1), and N fertilizer application had no obvious effects on CH4 uptake. Values of global warming potential were predominantly determined by N2O emissions, which were 411 kg CO2-eq ha−1 year−1 in the CK and 694–982 kg CO2-eq ha−1 year−1 in the N fertilization regimes. When comprehensively considering grain yield, global warming potential intensity values in REC-1, REC-2, and REC-3 were significantly lower than in CON. Meanwhile, grain yield increased slightly under REC-1 and REC-3 compared to CON. Generally, REC-1 and REC-3 are recommended as promising management regimes to attain the dual objectives of sustaining grain yield and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the North China Plain.


CH4 Freeze–thaw cycles Global warming potential Integrated management practices N2Yield 



We thank Shuxian Chen, Rongchao Liu, Hui Ye, and Fengmei Geng for their tireless efforts in managing the plots and taking gas samples. This study was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (30870414 and 31170489), the Non-profit Research Foundation for Agriculture (201103039), and the Climate Food and Farming Network (CLIFF). We also thank anonymous referees for their helpful comments and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuefeng Shi
    • 1
  • Wenliang Wu
    • 1
  • Fanqiao Meng
    • 1
  • Zhihua Zhang
    • 2
  • Liang Zheng
    • 1
  • Dapeng Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Resources and Environmental SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of Resources Science and TechnologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Rubber Research InstituteChinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture ScienceDanzhouChina

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