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Soil N2O emissions increased by litter removal but decreased by phosphorus additions

Abstract

Nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from forest soil are main greenhouse gases (GHGs). The nutrients released during litter decomposition and phosphorus (P) addition in forest soil may directly affect soil GHGs emissions. Cinnamomum camphora plantations are generally cultivated for leaf-harvesting for industrial purpose. Since C. camphora plantations are generally distributed in P-limited area, interactions between leaf-harvesting and P application may impact soil GHG emissions, which however, has rarely been studied. We conducted an in situ study to examine the effects of leaf-harvesting and P addition on soil N2O and CO2 emissions over 14 months using full-factorial complete-randomized design. Litter removal was performed by removing all litter above the soil surface and P was added as nutrient solution. The results showed that N2O emission rates mainly depended on litter removal and its interaction with P treatment. Specifically, litter removal enhanced N2O emissions by 108%, while P addition reduced this enhancement by 39.7%. However, while P addition increased soil CO2 emission rates by 6.7%, neither litter removal nor its interaction with P addition influenced soil CO2 emissions. The results suggested that leaf-harvesting practice potentially enhanced N2O emissions from C. camphora plantation soil, while P management mitigated the enhancement. This study has implications for the management of leaf-harvesting C. camphora plantations concerning soil nutrient conservation and mitigation of forest soil GHG emissions, especially in forestry or agricultural soils in subtropical regions experiencing intensive leaf-harvesting management and fertilization practice.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Qian Liu, Liya Zheng, Lijun Huang, and Xishuai Liu for their assistance with laboratory work. This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770749), and Jiangxi "Double Thousand Plan" Science and Technology Innovation High-end Talent Project (jxsq2019201078).

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Correspondence to Ling Zhang.

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Zheng, X., Wang, S., Xu, X. et al. Soil N2O emissions increased by litter removal but decreased by phosphorus additions. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-021-10125-w

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Keywords

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Litter removal
  • P addition
  • Mitigation effects