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Impacts of integrated nutrient management on methane emission, global warming potential and carbon storage capacity in rice grown in a northeast India soil

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Rice soil is a source of emission of two major greenhouse gases (methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) and a sink of carbon dioxide (CO2). The effect of inorganic fertilizers in combination with various organics (cow dung, green manure (Sesbania aculeata) Azolla compost, rice husk) on CH4 emission, global warming potential, and soil carbon storage along with crop productivity were studied at university farm under field conditions. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design for 2 years in a monsoon rice (cv. Ranjit) ecosystem (June–November, 2014 and 2015). Combined application of inorganic (NPK) with Sesbania aculeata resulted in high global warming potential (GWP) of 887.4 kg CO2 ha−1 and low GWP of 540.6 kg CO2 ha−1 was recorded from inorganic fertilizer applied field. Irrespective of the type of organic amendments, flag leaf photosynthesis of the rice crop increased over NPK application (control). There was an increase in CH4 emission from the organic amended fields compared to NPK alone. The combined application of NPK and Azolla compost was effective in the buildup of soil carbon (16.93 g kg−1) and capacity of soil carbon storage (28.1 Mg C ha−1) with high carbon efficiency ratio (16.9). Azolla compost application along with NPK recorded 15.66% higher CH4 emission with 27.43% yield increment over control. Azolla compost application significantly enhanced carbon storage of soil and improved the yielding ability of grain (6.55 Mg ha−1) over other treatments.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, New Delhi, India for funding the work and for providing fellowship to the SRF (Ms Ashmita Bharali) through a project entitled “Evaluation of carbon (C) sequestration and enhancing C sinks in rice based agro-ecosystems of Assam” [Grant number: DST/IS-STAC/CO2-SR-105/11(G)].

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Correspondence to Kushal Kumar Baruah.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Bharali, A., Baruah, K.K., Baruah, S.G. et al. Impacts of integrated nutrient management on methane emission, global warming potential and carbon storage capacity in rice grown in a northeast India soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 5889–5901 (2018).

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