Incorporation of crop residues into the soil has been widely recommended as an effective method to sustain soil fertility and improve soil carbon sequestration in arable lands. However, it may lead to an increase in the emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) and leaching of nitrate (NO3−) to groundwater due to higher nitrogen (N) availability after crop residue incorporation. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis based on 345 observations from 90 peer-reviewed studies to evaluate the effects of crop residue return on soil N2O emissions and NO3− leaching for different locations, climatic and soil conditions, and agricultural management strategies. On average, crop residue incorporation significantly stimulated N2O emissions by 29.7%, but decreased NO3− leaching by 14.4%. The increase in N2O emissions was negatively and significantly correlated with mean annual temperature and mean annual precipitation, and with the most significant changes occurring in the temperate climate zone. Crop residues stimulated N2O emission mainly in soils with pH ranging between 5.5 and 6.5, or above 7.5 in soils with low clay content. In addition, crop residue application decreased NO3− leaching significantly in soils with sandy loam, silty clay loam, and silt loam textures. Our analysis reveals that an appropriate crop residue management adapted to the site-specific soil and environmental conditions is critical for increasing soil organic carbon stocks and decreasing nitrogen losses. The most important novel finding is that residue return, despite stimulation of N2O emissions, is particularly effective in reducing NO3− leaching in soils with loamy texture, which are generally among the most productive arable soils.
Similar content being viewed by others
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and nitrate (NO3−) leaching from intensively managed cropland cause significant threats to adjacent environmental compartments (Bodirsky et al. 2012; Yang et al. 2018). N2O has a 298 times greater global warming potential (GWP) than carbon dioxide (CO2) and accelerates ozone depletion (Ravishankara et al. 2009). Intensively managed agricultural soils emit approx. 3.5 Mt N2O-N year−1 (Pachauri et al. 2014), globally contributing almost 60% to the anthropogenic N2O and 21% to the overall N2O emission (IPCC 2013). Nitrate leaching is another critical N loss pathway that leads to surface water eutrophication as well as groundwater pollution (Di and Cameron 2002). Therefore, finding strategies for improving nitrogen (N) retention in soil is highly relevant for making intensive agricultural production more sustainable (Fig. 1).
Return of crop residues with high carbon (C) content has great potential to improve N retention in soils (Yang et al. 2015). The annual production of crop residues reached nearly 4 billion metric tons at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Lal 2005). This indicates that appropriate utilization of crop residues with high N retention capacity could maintain soil fertility and reduce N losses effectively (Liu et al. 2014; Powlson et al. 2008). The C:N ratio of plant tissue is an important indicator of residue quality and decomposability, which is closely related to the immobilization of N, mainly by stimulating N retention in microbial biomass and increasing N sorption by the humus fraction (Chen et al. 2013). Crop residues with a low C:N ratio (<25), such as legume residues, can be easily decomposed by the soil microbial community in a short time period, resulting in the release of available N, which can further undergo soil nitrification and denitrification (Reichel et al. 2018). The release of available N from crop residues can be beneficial for increasing crop yield in the next growing season, but only if it is not lost from the soil beforehand (Mooshammer et al. 2014; Whitmore and Groot 1997). However, residue decomposition can create anaerobic hotspots in the soil, which may stimulate denitrification, hence partially thwarting the benefit of soil C sequestration (Zhou et al. 2017a, b). Crop residues with C:N ratio greater than 25 are usually more recalcitrant and force microorganisms to take up N from soil to meet their N need; i.e., the decomposition of crop residues with high C:N ratio causes subsequent microbial N immobilization. As a consequence, the temporary shortage of soil N might restrict nitrification and denitrification, with beneficial effects on NO3− and N2O losses (Aulakh et al. 2001; Cleveland and Liptzin 2007).
Cropland management strategies can affect the impact of residue return on soil N retention (Xia et al. 2014). For example, the application rate and composition of synthetic fertilizers affect soil nutrient availability, and different plowing methods can strongly affect the soil aggregate structure (Van Kessel et al. 2013; Xia et al. 2018). The effect of crop residue return on soil N retention is also influenced by soil properties. For instance, soil pH regulates the decomposition rate of crop residues providing N to nitrifiers and denitrifiers (Chen et al. 2013). Soil pH values of 7 or higher are favorable for denitrification (Wijler and Delwiche 1954), and the influence of crop residue return on the reduction of soil N2O emissions was found to be most significant at pH 7.1–7.8 (Chen et al. 2013). Soil physical properties like pore size distribution, bulk density (BD), and water holding capacity content are key variables that control crop residue degradation and N transformation in soil (Chen et al. 2013). Climatic conditions, such as mean annual temperature (MAT) and precipitation (MAP), can also affect N2O emissions and NO3− leaching in combination with crop residue application (Butterbach-Bahl et al. 2013; Liu et al. 2017).
Even though several meta-analyses evaluating the responses of N losses to residue return have been published, to our knowledge a comprehensive assessment accompanied by cropland management strategies on soil N retention, N2O emission, and NO3− leaching is lacking so far. Therefore, we conducted a global meta-analysis including 345 observations from 90 studies to systematically evaluate the overall effect of crop residue return on soil N retention and N losses (N2O emission and NO3− leaching) (Fig. S1). We hypothesize that (1) residue return will stimulate N2O emission, but mitigate NO3− leaching; and (2) the effectiveness of residue return on N losses will be governed by soil type, crop residue characteristics, climatic conditions, and cropland management.
2 Materials and methods
2.1 Data sources
To find the relevant literature for our meta-analysis, we used Web of Science, Google Scholar, and China National Knowledge to search for publications focusing on the comprehensive analysis of residue return and its effect on soil N losses, published before 11 January 2020. The search terms were “(residue OR straw OR organic amendment)” AND “(N2O emission OR NO3− leaching).” In addition, we limited our selection to those publications of experimental studies that fulfilled the following criteria: (a) the study was based on practice-relevant field, mesocosm, and lysimeter experiments, excluding lab experiments; (b) N losses (N2O emission or NO3− leaching) in the experiment were measured for at least one growing season (observations made over several growing seasons were averaged); (c) experimental and control plots had been established in the same ecosystem and included at least one comparison of N losses; (d) statistical information such as mean values of N2O emission and NO3− leaching, standard deviation (SD), and samples size in the experiment were directly extractable from the tables of the published articles, or were extracted from the graphs with the GetData Graph Digitizer software (version 2.26: http://getdata-graph-digitizer.com/download.php).
The selected studies provided information on (i) geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), (ii) climatic zones ((sub)tropical, and temperate), (iii) land use type (paddy soil and upland soil), (iv) MAT and MAP; (v) soil texture, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), extractable P (EP), C:N ratio, pH, and BD; (vi) fertilizer composition (single N fertilizer or NPK compound fertilizer), N fertilizer types (urea, NH4NO3, (NH4)2SO4, or NH4HCO3), and application times (number of fertilizer applications per growing season), and (vii) residue type, tillage method, and experimental duration. Crop residues were divided into low C:N residues with C:N <25, and high C:N residues with C:N ≥25.
As some studies did not include the information on climate or soil properties, we obtained the missing data from the World Climate Database (https://www.worldclim.org) and the Harmonized World Soil Database v1.2 ((FAO) 2012) according to the geographic locations. The resolution of the data was 30 s for the World Climate Database and 5 min for the Harmonized World Soil Database. If the geographic locations were given in the unit of decimal degrees (DD), we converted them to degrees/minutes/seconds (DMS) with a DMS-DD converter (https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/dms-decimal). Based on these selection criteria, we identified 345 observations from 90 peer-reviewed articles on a global scale. Specifically, the number of observations for N2O emission was 255 (Table S2), and 90 for NO3− leaching (Table S3).
2.2 Data analysis
The effect size, evaluating the responses of N2O emission and NO3− leaching to crop residue return, is defined as the natural logarithm of the response ratio (lnRR) (Hedges et al. 1999).
where Xt and Xc are the mean value of the variable with (treatment) or without (control) crop residue return, respectively.
The variance (v) of each study was estimated as follows:
where nt and nc are the sample sizes of each variable in treatment and control groups, while St and Sc are the SD for the treatment and control groups, respectively. If only the standard error (SE) was given, the corresponding SD was re-calculated.
This meta-analysis was performed using a nonparametric weighting function, and the weighting factor (Wij), weighted response lnRR++, and standard error S(lnRR++) were calculated as follows:
where m is the number of groups and k is the number of comparisons.
If the 95% CI of lnRR++ for a given variable overlapped with zero, the response to crop residue return was considered not significantly different between treatment and control.
The frequency distribution of lnRR, reflecting the variability of crop residue effects among individual studies, was calculated with the following Gaussian function:
where y is the frequency of lnRR values within an interval, x is the mean value of lnRR for that interval, μ and σ2 are the mean and variance across all lnRR values, respectively, and α is a coefficient indicating the expected number of lnRR at x = μ.
The statistical tests were considered significant at the p < 0.05 level. All of the meta-analysis procedures were conducted using MetaWin 2.1 software (Sinauer Associates, Inc., Sunderland, MA, USA), and statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 21.0 (IBM Deutschland GmbH, Ehningen, Germany) for Windows.
2.3 Sensitivity analysis and publication bias
We conducted a sensitivity analysis to estimate the effects of crop residue return on N2O emissions and NO3− leaching. First, a mixed model was established to calculate lnRR++ and reduce the disturbance of extreme variables simultaneously. Then, we excluded lnRR randomly and decreased the lnRR numbers included in lnRR++ from 100 to 60%. Once the lnRR++ presented a significant difference between each other, it passes the sensitivity analysis unsuccessfully. Potential publication bias was analyzed with funnel plot analysis and Egger’s indicator test (Egger et al. 1997) with the Stata Statistical Software (version 16, 2019, StataCorp LLC, College Station, TX, USA), using a 95% confidence interval.
Our sensitivity analysis showed that the results of the meta-analysis did not change significantly after stepwise reduction of the number of observations, demonstrating the reliability of our analysis (Fig. S2). In addition, no publication bias was found when our data were analyzed with the funnel plot and Egger’s test (Fig. S3).
The individual lnRR values of soil N2O emissions or NO3− leaching were all normally distributed, but varied greatly among the observations (Fig. 2a, b). The lnRR of N2O emission exhibited a great variability among the different studies, with a range from −2.26 to 3.06 (Fig. 2a), while the mean value of lnRR across all the 90 pairs of NO3− leaching was −0.12 (range from −2.85 to 1.39) (Fig. 2b). A higher N2O emission but lower NO3− leaching was observed from cropland soil amended with crop residues compared to the non-amended control, but the differences were not significant (Fig. 2c, d).
The lnRR++ of soil N2O emission and NO3− leaching to crop residue application differed between climate zones (Fig. 3; Table S1). Overall, crop residue application significantly stimulated N2O emission by 29.7%, with a significantly higher increase of 35.7% in the temperate zone (Fig. 3a; Table S2). In contrast, no significant effect of crop residue application on N2O emission was observed for tropical zones (Fig. 3a; Table S2). The mean value of lnRR++ across all responses of NO3− leaching to crop residue application was −0.14 (Fig. 3b; Table S3). The response of N2O emission and NO3− leaching to residue application was affected by land use type. Upland soil amended with crop residues showed a significant increase of N2O emission, which was 46% higher than control (Fig. 3a; Table S2). Conversely, it decreased the N2O emission by 18% in paddy soil (Fig. 3a; Table S2). In contrast, crop residue application mitigated NO3− leaching in upland and paddy soil simultaneously (Fig. 3b; Table S3). The lnRR of N2O emission was significantly and positively correlated with latitude, but not with longitude, MAT, and MAP (Table 1). In contrast, the lnRR of NO3− leaching had a significant and positive relationship with longitude, but no significant relationship with latitude, MAT, and MAP (Table 1).
Soil properties had a significant effect on the lnRR++ of N2O emission and NO3− leaching (Table 1). Compared with the control, crop residue application significantly increased N2O emission by 54.0% when soil pH 5.5–6.5, and by 28.9% for soil pH > 7.5 (Fig. 4a; Table S2). The lnRR++ of N2O emission showed negative linear correlations with pH, SOC, TN, EP, and BD, whereas the opposite was true for the correlation with C:N (Table 1). Generally, crop residue application mitigated soil NO3− leaching, and the decrease was significant for soil pH 6.5–7.5 (Fig. 4b). Moreover, the lnRR of NO3− leaching to crop residue application was significantly correlated with SOC, TN, EP, and BD (Table 1). Crop residue return caused a particularly strong and significant increase in soil N2O emissions except for soil with clay texture, indicating that clay content is an important determinant of the soil N2O emission response to crop residue application (Fig. 4a). Compared with the control, NO3− leaching from sandy loam, silty clay loam, and silt loam showed a significant negative response to crop residue application, with a decrease of 32.4%, 32.0%, and 39.5%, respectively (Fig. 4b, Table S3).
The lnRR++ of N2O emission and NO3− leaching across all the studies varied with the fertilizer components, N fertilizer types, and fertilizer application times (Table S1). In comparison with the control, the overall effect of synthetic fertilizer application on N2O emissions in combination with residue application was not significant, and the response of N2O emissions to NPK compound fertilizer and single N fertilizers was statistically similar (Fig. 5a). In addition, the different N forms had no significant effect on N2O emissions when applied with crop residues (Fig. 5a). Fertilizer application frequencies higher than four times per growing season could mitigate N2O emission by 31.9% incorporated with crop residue application (Fig. 5a; Table S2). Nitrogen fertilizer composition significantly controlled the effect size of crop residue application on NO3− leaching. Application of NPK fertilizer increased the lnRR++ of NO3− leaching by 19.8%, whereas it was significantly decreased by 21.9% with application of single N fertilizer (Fig. 5a; Table S3). Among the different forms of synthetic N fertilizers, NH4NO3 significantly decreased NO3− leaching by 23.2% (Fig. 5a; Table S3). In contrast, the effect of urea did not significantly change the effect of crop residue application on NO3− leaching. The analysis also revealed that when the fertilizer was applied only once during the growing season, NO3− leaching was significantly reduced by 58.1% (Fig. 5b; Table S3).
The effect of crop residue application on soil N2O emissions varied across residue types (Table 1). Application of low C:N residues (C:N<25) but also of the high C:N residues maize straw or wheat straw significantly stimulated N2O emission by 163.4%, 34.9%, and 19.4%, respectively (Fig. 6a; Table S2). In contrast, N2O emission decreased by 17.1%, 52.3%, and 74.5% with rice straw, sawdust, or sugarcane straw application, respectively (Fig. 6a; Table S2). Crop residue application generally decreased NO3− leaching, e.g., by 19.1% with wheat straw application (Fig. 6b; Table S3).
Tillage was also found to bias the effect of crop residue application on N2O emissions. A significant increase in N2O emissions occurred when no tillage or reduced tillage was performed on the top 10 cm layer (Fig. 6a). In addition, short experimental duration (<1 year) was associated with a significant increase in N2O emissions by 117.8% (Fig. 6a; Table S2). In contrast to N2O emission, tillage and duration of crop residue application had on average no significant effect on soil NO3− leaching relative to the control (Fig. 6b).
4.1 Climatic conditions
Our analysis revealed that crop residue application significantly stimulated N2O emission on average by 29.7% (Table S2). Relative to the control, crop residue application caused an insignificant increase of N2O emission in the tropical zone (Fig. 3), and the effect size of N2O emission to crop residue return was characterized by a significantly negative linear relationship with MAT and MAP at the large scale (Table 1). This might be explained primarily by MAT and MAP being a function of climate and geographical location, which affect microbial nitrification and denitrification processes and subsequently N2O emission and NO3− leaching (Barnard et al. 2006; Xu et al. 2012). The high temperatures in the tropical and subtropical zone might stimulate organic matter (OM) decomposition if there is enough precipitation, thereby improving N availability for nitrifiers and denitrifiers. However, the C released from crop residues might offset the N availability by stimulating soil microbial N immobilization (Sun et al. 2018). Second, labile C input could stimulate soil respiration and oxygen (O2) depletion, which can cause O2 limitation in soil and thereby decrease the denitrification-related N2O:N2 molar ratio by stimulation of complete reduction of N2O to N2 (Paul and Beauchamp 1989; Vinten et al. 1998). For instance, greater N2O emission was observed for sites with lower MAT, potentially caused by a stronger limitation of N2O reduction by low temperature than N2O production (Avalakki et al. 1995; Keeney et al. 1979). Third, moisture regulates soil O2 diffusion. Soil in tropical and subtropical zones with high precipitation has a higher tendency towards anoxic conditions, which foster complete denitrification with reduction of N2O to N2 (Davidson and Swank 1986).
This study further revealed that crop residue application decreased soil NO3− leaching by 14.4% relative to the control (Table S3), indicating that residue application improved soil water and fertilizer-N retention capacity in accordance with Blanco-Canqui et al. (2007). Possible reasons could be on the one hand a decrease in leachate percolation (Xia et al. 2018), which leads to an increase in NO3− retention, and on the other hand an increase in cation exchange capacity (CEC) (Xia et al. 2018), which reduces the availability of free NH4+ in the soil solution for nitrification by deprotonated carboxyl groups and thereby leads to a decrease in nitrification rate (Blanco-Canqui and Lal 2009). A third reason might also be temporary N absorption in soil pores or N adsorption on the surface of undecomposed residues (Yang et al. 2018). Compared with the control, no significant decrease in NO3− leaching after crop residue return was observed for the temperate zone. This is perhaps due to the fact that temperate soils with comparably lower MAP have a higher nitrification activity, thereby promoting the accumulation of NO3−. In addition, compared with the tropical and subtropical zone, the annually more evenly distributed precipitation in the temperate zone might attenuate the effect of crop residue return on NO3− leaching.
4.2 Land use type
Land use type, coupled with the availability of O2, soil C, and N substrates, controls soil N2O emission significantly (Butterbach-Bahl et al. 2013; Davidson et al. 2000). Our statistical results showed an opposite effect of residue return on N2O emission between upland and paddy soil (Fig. 3; Table S2). The 18% decrease in N2O emissions from paddy soil could be explained by increasing microbial N immobilization and complete denitrification (Aulakh et al. 2001). Compared with the control, organic amendment degradation accelerates the O2 consumption in rhizosphere and bulk soil. Hence, it creates an anaerobic condition, which—together higher DOC availability—favored denitrification and a complete reduction of N2O to N2 (Firestone and Davidson 1989). Yet, residue return increased N2O emission by 46% in upland soil, which is similar to the findings of Xia et al. (2018) and Liu et al. (2014). Compared with paddy soil, the upland ecosystem has a lower moisture content, usually coupled with higher O2 availability in soil aggregates (Xia et al. 2018). Moreover, available N from residue decomposition favors autotrophic nitrification and heterotrophic denitrification, thereby increasing N2O rather than N2 emission, in upland soil (Chen et al. 2013; Davidson et al. 2000).
The responses of NO3− leaching to residue return were similar in upland or paddy soil (Fig. 3b). Residue return decreased NO3− leaching by reducing leachate percolation by 14% and 13% in upland and paddy soil, respectively. In upland soil, especially after residue application, soil microorganisms are forced to mine available N to keep the narrow C:N typically found for microbial biomass (Reichel et al. 2018). Moreover, higher SOC content after residue return can increase the cation exchange capacity, which prevents NH4+ loss and reduces its availability for the conversion to NO3− (Blanco-Canqui and Lal 2009).
4.3 Soil pH
Soil pH is an important factor regulating soil N2O emission (Butterbach-Bahl et al. 2013). In our meta-analysis, crop residue return remarkably stimulated soil N2O emission. The increase in N2O emission was particularly pronounced in soils with pH 5.5–6.5 or >7.5 (Fig. 4a). One potential reason could be the pH sensitivity of the enzyme N2O reductase (Bakken et al. 2012), i.e., its intolerance to low and high pH, which leads to an inhibition of the reduction of N2O to N2 during denitrification at low and high pH, and hence to an increase in the mole fraction of N2O:N2 (Koskinen and Keeney 1982; Liu et al. 2010).
Compared with pH-neutral soil, higher N2O emission in moderately acidic soils could be attributed to faster lignin and cellulose degradation, which stimulates the development of nitrifier and denitrifier communities, especially in N-rich soil (Pometto and Crawford 1986). In contrast, alkaline soil was shown to have higher N2O production potential due to the specific stimulation of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), associated with a high ammonium oxidation rate (Law et al. 2011). Furthermore, the tendency towards higher N2O emissions at lower and higher pH could also be due to the fact that the two steps of autotrophic nitrification, i.e., the oxidation of NH4+ to NO2− by ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA), and of NO2− to NO3− by nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), have differently wide optimum pH ranges, with the optimum pH range of NOB (7.9 ± 0.4) being more narrow than that of AOB (8.2 ± 0.3) and AOA (7 ± 1) (Park et al. 2007; Gubry-Rangin et al. 2011). Any deviation from the optimum pH range of NOB to higher or lower values would favor the first step of nitrification, i.e., the oxidization of NH4+ to nitrite (NO2−), leading to temporary NO2− accumulation, which in turn can lead to substantial N2O emission (Venterea 2007).
Soil pH is a critical factor for soil NO3− leaching (Cevallos et al. 2015). Our analysis indicated that crop residue application significantly decreased NO3− leaching in neutral soil in contrast to soil with pH > 7.5 (Fig. 4b). It is known that soil pH affects microbial nutrient immobilization and enzyme activity (Cao et al. 2016), but also the physicochemical properties of soil C-additives are crucial for the mitigation of NO3− leaching. For instance, lime and wood ash increased soil pH and NO3− leaching (Chinkuyu and Kanwar 1999; Gómez-Rey et al. 2012), while biochar was found to mitigate NO3− leaching despite an increase of soil pH (Knowles et al. 2011). Compared with fungi, bacteria have a comparably narrow optimum pH of 6.5–7.5, which implies a higher bacterial activity and biomass in neutral soil than in acid or alkaline soil. Cellulase released by specific microorganisms stimulates the decomposition of crop residues, and the input of larger amounts of labile C enhances in turn microbial N immobilization.
4.4 Soil texture
Soil texture is an important factor shaping the size and distribution of soil pores and, hence, affecting soil aeration and O2 availability, which are critical for decomposition of crop residues as well as the subsequent soil N transformation and loss pathways (Chen et al. 2013; Skiba and Ball 2002; Xia et al. 2018). Soils with coarse texture and high gas permeability rapidly stimulate crop residue decomposition and microbial respiration (Chen et al. 2013). However, as a consequence of stimulated O2 consumption after residue incorporation, anoxic microsites might develop in the soil, which favor denitrification and N2O emission at moderately low redox potential between 200 and 400 mV (Flessa and Beese 1995; Yu and Patrick 2003). In contrast, crop residue return significantly decreased N2O emission from clay soil (clay content > 55%) (Fig. 4a). This might be due to the generally lower gas diffusivity in clayey soils, which decreases the decomposition rate of degradable organic residues and hence N mineralization, and which promotes even lower redox potentials than in sandy soils, i.e., low enough for N2O reduction (Jarecki et al. 2008; Weitz et al. 2001). Furthermore, the clayey soils usually also have a higher CEC, which enhances the adsorption of NH4+ by soil clay particles, which in turn can decrease NO2− production by AOB and NO2−-related N2O emissions (Venterea et al. 2015).
Soil NO3− leaching is regulated by the soil hydrologic regime. In this meta-analysis, crop residue application decreased NO3− leaching by 14.4% (Table S3). Residue application to soil stimulates microbial N retention, which leads to a decrease in NO3− leaching. Moreover, the straw return can also decrease NO3− leaching through decreased leachate percolation by increased water holding capacity of the soil (Gu et al. 2013). However, we found that the effect of residue application on NO3− leaching in sandy soil was not significant (Fig. 4b), which might mainly be attributed to the large pore size and poor water retention capacity of sandy soil (Gaines and Gaines 1994). In addition, the better air permeability of sandy soil is conducive to rapid decomposition of OM and subsequent nitrification of the ammonium released, and together with the inhibition of anaerobic denitrification, NO3− accumulation and finally NO3− will be promoted (Gaines and Gaines 1994).
4.5 Synthetic fertilizer application
Our results showed that there was no significant effect of the different components of synthetic fertilizer applied on N2O emission. Zhou et al. (2017a, b) reported that globally the application of manure was associated with higher N2O emissions than synthetic fertilizer, which is mainly due to the larger input of easily available C with manure, stimulating N2O emission from denitrification. Compared with NH4+ or urea, higher N2O emission was observed for residue return combined with NO3− as fertilizer (Fig. 5a). Nitrate fertilizer can serve directly as substrate for denitrification, causing higher N2O emission together with the easily available C released during crop residue decomposition (Senbayram et al. 2012; Xia et al. 2020).
Excessive or ill-timed application of N fertilizer can lead to an over-supply of N in the soil that cannot be compensated by microbial immobilization anymore, resulting in an enhanced risk of N2O emission (Hatfield and Cambardella 2001). The present analysis indicated that, compared with other methods, the application frequency of N fertilizer more than four times per growing season could decrease N2O emission in combination with crop residue return (Fig. 5a). As well-timed, adequate fertilization is beneficial to the direct, demand-driven use of N by plants, excessive N losses can be avoided by this means.
In contrast to N2O, there was a significant difference between the fertilizer components regarding NO3− leaching, when jointly applied with crop residues. Compared with single N application, crop residue return combined with NPK fertilizer application increased NO3− leaching significantly (Fig. 5b). There are two possible explanations. First, NH4+ adsorbed to the soil matrix might be substituted by K+ and released to the soil solution, and subsequently converted to NO3− by nitrification. Second, the concomitant application of P might alleviate or terminate a potential P limitation of nitrifiers, thereby favoring the transformation of NH4+ to NO3− (Cleveland et al. 2002; Purchase 1974).
Residue return decreased NO3− leaching after application of urea, albeit non-significantly (Fig. 5b). Urea is quickly hydrolyzed to NH4+, which then can be either adsorbed to the soil matrix or be quickly immobilized by soil microbial biomass, especially after residue application (Jarecki et al. 2008). In contrast, we found that NO3− leaching was significantly decreased when with NH4NO3 application. One reason could be that the NO3− of NH4NO3 can directly serve as substrate for denitrification, which would reduce the NO3− load of the soil by converting it at least partially to gaseous N forms (N2O, N2). However, there are two additional potential explanations: on the one hand, the increase in CEC caused by residue application reduces the availability of free NH4+, thereby limiting nitrification (Blanco-Canqui and Lal 2009; Kim et al. 2012; Qian and Cai 2007); on the other hand, straw enhanced microbial N immobilization due to its high C:N ratio, and by this decreased the substrate availability for nitrification and denitrification (Wang et al. 2014a, b).
4.6 Crop residue type
Previous research showed that easily available C released by residue degradation stimulates soil microbial N transformation from inorganic to organic form (Chen et al. 2013; Ma et al. 2009; Shan and Yan 2013). It is considered an efficient method to maintain soil fertility globally, though the efficiency could depend on residue type. Therefore, the potential risk of environmental pollution has to be evaluated for each crop residue type separately. It was shown previously that soil amended with crop residues with high C:N ratio stimulated microbial N immobilization, in contrast to N-rich crop residues (Baggs et al. 2000; Millar and Baggs 2005). The increase in soil C substrate availability due to incorporation of crop residues with a high content of easily available C, such as wheat straw, in combination with high soil mineral N content can stimulate N2O emission substantially (Yue et al. 2017). In contrast, N released through the quick decomposition of low C:N residues (C:N <25), e.g., alfalfa and soybean, provided N in excess of the plant and microbial N demand (Shan and Yan 2013).
Easily available C stimulates microbial growth and activity in particular, provided that the N supply is sufficient, but labile C also serves as electron donor for the reduction steps of denitrification from NO3− to N2 and supplies essential energy for heterotrophic microbial activity (Firestone and Davidson 1989). Therefore, input of labile C to soil can have, as already discussed in the previous sections, basically two effects on N2O, i.e., a reduction in N2O emission due to microbial N immobilization, or an increase in N2O emission due to stimulation of denitrification at intermediate redox potential. Based on our results, the effect size of crop residue return to soil on N2O emission was significantly and negatively correlated with sawdust, sugarcane straw, or rice straw application (Fig. 6a). In contrast, wheat or maize straw stimulated N2O emission in our analysis (Fig. 6b), which was also reported by Shan and Yan (2013). Large amounts of high C:N residues with low content of soluble, easily available C, like sawdust, sugarcane, or rice straw, will force heterotrophic microorganisms to mine available N (Cleveland and Liptzin 2007), thereby decreasing the N resource for nitrification and denitrification and subsequent N2O emission (Baggs et al. 2000). Crop residues with a higher content of soluble, easily available C, like wheat or maize straw, will not only stimulate the growth of heterotrophic soil microorganisms but also stimulate denitrification due to high O2 consumption, and hence N2O emission (Reichel et al. 2018).
Our results also showed that wheat straw application inhibited soil NO3− leaching significantly, while the effect of return of other residues with different C:N ratios on NO3− leaching was not significant (Fig. 6b). This finding suggests that the C:N ratio is not the main factor affecting NO3− leaching, but possibly the fraction of easily available C that stimulates microbial N immobilization (see above), or perhaps either physical characteristics of crop residues that control soil NO3− leaching, such as increased water retention, or that particularly wheat straw stimulates denitrification due to the high amount of easily available C, thereby converting most of the NO3− to gaseous N forms (N2O, N2). Another possible explanation is that wheat straw can reduce NO3− and NO2− concentrations in the surface soil and percolating water by increasing crop N uptake, thereby decreasing NO3− leaching (Yang et al. 2018).
Several tillage methods in combination with crop residue return were used in the studies we analyzed. Our results showed that surface application of crop residues and shallow tillage (0–10 cm) stimulated N2O emission significantly (Fig. 6a). This is possibly due to increased denitrification activity stimulated by the anoxic conditions caused by the rapid decomposition of incorporated crop residues, associated with high O2 consumption and fostered by high temperatures in the first 10 cm of the soil (Kandeler et al. 1999; Ma et al. 2009). In contrast, residue return with deep tillage (>10 cm) caused no statistically significant difference in N2O emission compared to the control (Fig. 6a). Deep tillage reduces the BD of the soil, thereby improving soil O2 availability and inhibiting denitrification (Khurshid et al. 2006).
In terms of NO3− leaching, we did not find a significant influence of the tillage method used for crop residue return (Fig. 6b). This might be due to the fact that soils with different textures react very differently to tillage regarding stimulation or inhibition of mineralization, nitrification, and denitrification. For instance, no significant effect of tillage on NO3− leaching was found for a coarse sandy soil, whereas a significant effect was observed for sandy loam soil (Hansen and Djurhuus 1997).
4.8 Duration of the experiments
The duration of arable land management is a critical factor affecting the effect size of crop residue return on soil N retention. Our analyses revealed a significant difference in N2O emission between soils with and without crop residue return, when the duration of the experiment was less than 1 year (Fig. 6a). A reason could be that the majority of C and N will be released from the residues in the first weeks and/or months, and afterwards the effect will be gradually reduced (Chen et al. 2013). Fast and substantial nutrient release from decomposing crop residues was found to stimulate nitrification and denitrification, favoring O2 depletion and the formation of partial anoxic conditions, which stimulate N2O emission rapidly (Xia et al. 2018). However, no significant difference in N2O emission between soils with and without crop residue incorporation was observed when the duration of the experiment was longer than 1 year, suggesting a potential adaptation effect of the soil and its microbial community to the treatment.
Our analysis also showed that short-term crop residue return can reduce NO3− leaching by more than 10%, in contrast to long-term (> 3 years) crop residue return (Fig. 6b). In the short term, the growing microbial biomass acts as a sink for inorganic soil N, stimulated by the increased input of labile C, thereby reducing the risk of NO3− leaching (Zechmeister-Boltenstern et al. 2002). On the contrary, long-term crop residue return might lead to saturation of the SOC pool with subsequent adaptation of the microbial community to this new equilibrium, thereby on the one hand increasing its resistance against disturbance or environmental change, but on the other hand also decreasing its N buffering capacity (Griffiths and Philippot 2013).
4.9 Overall effects of residue return on N losses
So far, some mitigation effects of crop residue return on N runoff were reported (Blanco-Canqui et al. 2006; Xia et al. 2018,). The phenomenon could be attributed to the change of soil structure, which leads to an increase in water infiltration rate and a decrease in surface runoff, and thereby to a decreased risk of soil erosion (Lindstrom 1986). Recently, some new perspectives were also presented that crop residue return can increase NH3 emission by stimulating ammonium-related soil N transformations. For example, Xia et al. (2018) found that crop residue return significantly increased the gross N mineralization rate by 82.4% and dissimilatory NO3− reduction to NH4+ (DNRA) by 155%. The stimulation of these specific N transformation processes leads to an increase in soil NH4+ content, which in turn serves as substrate for NH3 emission.
4.10 Potential publication bias
We collected data with wide geographic coverage to achieve high robustness of this meta-analysis. The results of funnel plot analysis and Egger’s indicator test showed that there was no systematic publication bias in our database. In parallel, we checked the geographic coordinates of the outliers in the funnel plot and found that they were not located in the southern hemisphere (Fig. S3). Therefore, we conclude that the inclusion of data from poorly studied areas of the world did not result in publication bias. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the lack of data in some areas of the world warrants more intensive study, particularly in the southern hemisphere.
Overall, this meta-analysis provides valuable insights into the effect of crop residue return on soil N2O emission and NO3− leaching and their dependence on climate zone, soil properties, and arable land management. We present two major perspectives: First, crop residue application increases soil N2O emission by stimulating microbial nitrification and denitrification. Second, soil NO3− leaching is mitigated by crop residue amendment. Our results reveal some opposing trends when compared with previous studies and provide new guidance for future research. Crop residues need to be applied depending on soil fertility and climatic conditions. For instance, amendment of nutrient-poor soil with low C:N residues is recommended, thereby decreasing the application of synthetic fertilizer, accelerating the recovery of soil fertility, and supplying nutrients for the next growing season, especially in areas with low crop yield. Besides, crop residue return combined with deep tillage should be generally applied based on site-specific soil conditions because N2O emission and N losses through leaching, runoff, or ammonia (NH3) volatilization, which pose a risk of soil nutrient loss without safeguarding procedures, are thereby minimized. However, due to differences in soil structure and microbial activity between different soils and sites, the determination of the optimal tillage frequency requires further study. Overall, the focus should be on harnessing the positive effects of crop residue return for maintaining and improving soil fertility and for sustaining or even increasing crop productivity. Ultimately, this will help to balance sustainable farming, economic benefit, and protection of the environment in the future.
The data of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Aulakh MS, Khera TS, Doran JW et al (2001a) Denitrification, N2O and CO2 fluxes in rice-wheat cropping system as affected by crop residues, fertilizer N and legume green manure. Biol Fertil Soils 34:375–389. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740100420
Avalakki U, Strong W, Saffigna P (1995) Measurement of gaseous emissions from denitrification of applied N-15. 2. Effects of temperature and added straw. Soil Res 33:89–99. https://doi.org/10.1071/SR9950089
Baggs E, Rees R, Smith K et al (2000) Nitrus oxide emission from soils after incorporating crop residues. Soil Use Manage 16:82–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2000.tb00179.x
Bakken LR, Bergaust L, Liu B, Frostegård Å (2012) Regulation of denitrification at the cellular level: a clue to the understanding of N2O emissions from soils. Phil Trans R Soc B 367:1226–1234. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0321
Barnard R, Le Roux X, Hungate BA et al (2006) Several components of global change alter nitrifying and denitrifying activities in an annual grassland. Funct Ecol 20:557–564. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2435.2006.01146.x
Blanco-Canqui H, Lal R (2009) Crop residue removal impacts on soil productivity and environmental quality. Crit Rev Plant Sci 28:139–163. https://doi.org/10.1080/07352680902776507
Blanco-Canqui H, Lal R, Post W et al (2007) Soil hydraulic properties influenced by corn stover removal from no-till corn in Ohio. Soil Tillage Res 92:144–155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2006.02.002
Blanco-Canqui H, Lal R, Post WM et al (2006) Corn stover impacts on near-surface soil properties of no-till corn in Ohio. Soil Sci Soc Am J 70:266–278. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2005.0137
Bodirsky BL, Popp A, Weindl I et al (2012) N2O emissions from the global agricultural nitrogen cycle–current state and future scenarios. Biogeosciences 10:4169–4197. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-4169-2012
Butterbach-Bahl K, Baggs EM, Dannenmann M et al (2013) Nitrous oxide emissions from soils: how well do we understand the processes and their controls? Phil Trans R Soc B 368:20130122. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0122
Cao H, Chen R, Wang L et al (2016) Soil pH, total phosphorus, climate and distance are the major factors influencing microbial activity at a regional spatial scale. Sci Rep 6:1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep25815
Cevallos E, Correa L, Landázuri P et al (2015) Evaluate the effect of three levels pH in leaching and volatilization of nitrogen fertilizers, in three soil types. Der Pharma Chem 7:521–532
Chen H, Li X, Hu F et al (2013) Soil nitrous oxide emissions following crop residue addition: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 19:2956–2964. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12274
Chinkuyu AJ, Kanwar RS (1999) Effect of lime application on the movement of atrazine and nitrate-nitrogen through undisturbed-saturated soil columns. Water Air Soil Pollut 115:371–384. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005124212115
Cleveland CC, Liptzin D (2007) C: N: P stoichiometry in soil: is there a “Redfield ratio” for the microbial biomass? Biogeochemistry 85:235–252. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10533-007-9132-0
Cleveland CC, Townsend AR, Schmidt SK (2002) Phosphorus limitation of microbial processes in moist tropical forests: evidence from short-term laboratory in https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-002-0202-9
Curtis PS, Wang X (1998) A meta-analysis of elevated CO2 effects on woody plant mass, form, and physiology. Oecologia 113:299–313. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004420050381
Davidson EA, Keller M, Erickson HE et al (2000) Testing a conceptual model of soil emissions of nitrous and nitric oxides: using two functions based on soil nitrogen availability and soil water content, the hole-in-the-pipe model characterizes a large fraction of the observed variation of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide emissions from soils. Bioscience 50:667–680. https://doi.org/10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0667:TACMOS]2.0.CO
Davidson EA, Swank WT (1986) Environmental parameters regulating gaseous nitrogen losses from two forested ecosystems via nitrification and denitrification. Appl Environ Microbiol 52:1287–1292. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.52.6.1287-1292.1986
Di H, Cameron K (2002) Nitrate leaching in temperate agroecosystems: sources, factors and mitigating strategies. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 64:237–256. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021471531188
Egger M, Smith GD, Schneider M, Minder C (1997) Bias in meta-analysis detected by a simple, graphical test. BMJ 315:629–634. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7109.629
Firestone MK, Davidson EA (1989) Microbiological basis of NO and N2O production and consumption in soil. Andreae MO and Schimmel DS (eds) Exchange of Trace Gases Between Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Atmosphere John Wiley, Chichester, pp 7–21
Flessa H, Beese F (1995) Effects of sugarbeet residues on soil redox potential and nitrous oxide emissions. Soil Sci Soc Am J 59:1044–1051. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1995.03615995005900040013x
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2012) Harmonized World Soil Database (Version 1.2). Food Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy and IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria http://webarchive.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/External-World-soil-database/HTML/
Gaines T, Gaines S (1994) Soil texture effect on nitrate leaching in soil percolates. Commun. Soil Sci Plant 25:2561–2570. https://doi.org/10.1080/00103629409369207
Gómez-Rey MX, Madeira M, Coutinho J (2012) Wood ash effects on nutrient dynamics and soil properties under Mediterranean climate. Ann For Sci 69:569–579. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-011-0175-y
Griffiths BS, Philippot L (2013) Insights into the resistance and resilience of the soil microbial community. FEMS Microbiol Rev 37:112–129. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6976.2012.00343.x
Gu J, Nicoullaud B, Rochette P et al (2013) A regional experiment suggests that soil texture is a major control of N2O emissions from tile-drained winter wheat fields during the fertilization period. Soil Biol Biochem 60:134–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2013.01.029
Gubry-Rangin C, Hai B, Quince C et al (2011) Niche specialization of terrestrial archaeal ammonia oxidizers. Proc Natl Acad Sc 108:21206–21211. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1109000108
Hansen EM, Djurhuus J (1997) Nitrate leaching as influenced by soil tillage and catch crop. Soil Till Res 41:203–219. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-1987(96)01097-5
Hatfield J, Cambardella C (2001) Nutrient management in cropping systems. In J. McFarland and M. Sanderson (ed.) Integrated management of land application of animal waste. (In press) Am Soc of Agric Eng St. Joseph, MI
Hedges LV, Gurevitch J, Curtis PS (1999) The meta-analysis of response ratios in experimental ecology. Ecology 80:1150–1156. https://doi.org/10.1890/0012-9658(1999)080[1150:TMAORR]2.0.CO;2
IPCC (2013) Intergovernmental panel on climate change climate change fifth assessment report (AR5). London Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK
Jarecki MK, Parkin TB, Chan AS et al (2008) Greenhouse gas emissions from two soils receiving nitrogen fertilizer and swine manure slurry. J Environ Qual 37:1432–1438. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2007.0427
Kandeler E, Tscherko D, Spiegel H (1999) Long-term monitoring of microbial biomass, N mineralisation and enzyme activities of a Chernozem under different tillage management. Biol Fertil Soils 28:343–351. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740050502
Keeney D, Fillery I, Marx G (1979) Effect of temperature on the gaseous nitrogen products of denitrification in a silt loam soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43:1124–1128. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1979.03615995004300060012x
Khurshid K, Iqbal M, Arif MS et al (2006) Effect of tillage and mulch on soil physical properties and growth of maize. Int J Agric Biol 8:593–596. https://doi.org/1560-8530/2006/08-5-593-596
Kim DG, Saggar S, Roudier P (2012) The effect of nitrification inhibitors on soil ammonia emissions in nitrogen managed soils: a meta-analysis. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 93:51–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9404-4
Knowles OA, Robinson BH, Contangelo A et al (2011) Biochar for the mitigation of nitrate leaching from soil amended with biosolids. Sci Total Environ 409:3206–3210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.05.011
Koskinen W, Keeney D (1982) Effect of pH on the rate of gaseous products of denitrification in a silt loam soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:1165–1167. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1982.03615995004600060009x
Lal R (2005) World crop residues production and implications of its use as a biofuel. Environ Int 31:575–584. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2004.09.005
Law Y, Lant P, Yuan Z (2011) The effect of pH on N2O production under aerobic conditions in a partial nitritation system. Water Res 45:5934–5944. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2011.08.055
Lindstrom MJ (1986) Effects of residue harvesting on water runoff, soil erosion and nutrient loss. Agric Ecosyst Environ 16:103–112. https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-8809(86)90097-6
Liu C, Lu M, Cui J et al (2014) Effects of straw carbon input on carbon dynamics in agricultural soils: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 20:1366–1381. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12517
Liu S, Lin F, Wu S et al (2017) A meta-analysis of fertilizer-induced soil NO and combined NO + N2O emissions. Glob Change Biol 23:2520–2532. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13485
Liu B, Mørkved PT, Frostegård Å et al (2010) Denitrification gene pools, transcription and kinetics of NO, N2O and N2 production as affected by soil pH. FEMS Microbiol Rev 72:407–417. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6941.2010.00856.x
Ma J, Ma E, Xu H et al (2009a) Wheat straw management affects CH4 and N2O emissions from rice fields. Soil Biol Biochem 41:1022–1028. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.01.024
Millar N, Baggs E (2005) Relationships between N2O emissions and water-soluble C and N contents of agroforestry residues after their addition to soil. Soil Biol Biochem 37:605–608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.08.016
Mooshammer M, Wanek W, Hämmerle I et al (2014) Adjustment of microbial nitrogen use efficiency to carbon: nitrogen imbalances regulates soil nitrogen cycling. Nat Commun 5:3694. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4694
Pachauri RK, Allen MR, Barros VR et al Climate change (2014): synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. London Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. UK
Park S, Bae W, Chung J et al (2007) Empirical model of the pH dependence of the maximum specific nitrification rate. Process Biochem 42:1671–1676. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procbio.2007.09.010
Paul JW, Beauchamp EG (1989) Denitrification and fermentation in plant-residue-amended soil. Biol Fert Soils 7:303–309. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00257824
Pometto AL, Crawford DL (1986) Effects of pH on lignin and cellulose degradation by Streptomyces viridosporus. Appl Environ Microbiol 52:246–250. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.52.2.246-250.1986
Powlson D, Riche A, Coleman K et al (2008) Whitmore A. Carbon sequestration in European soils through straw incorporation: limitations and alternatives. J Waste Manag 28:741–746. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2007.09.024
Purchase BS (1974) The influence of phosphate deficiency on nitrification. Plant Soil 41:541–547. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02185815
Qian C, Cai Z (2007) Leaching of nitrogen from subtropical soils as affected by nitrification potential and base cations. Plant Soil 300:197–205. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9404-4
Ravishankara A, Daniel JS, Portmann RW (2009) Nitrous oxide (N2O): the dominant ozone-depleting substance emitted in the 21st century. Science 326:123–125. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1176985
Reichel R, Wei J, Islam MS et al (2018) Potential of wheat straw, spruce sawdust, and lignin as high organic carbon soil amendments to improve agricultural nitrogen retention capacity: an incubation study. Front Plant Sci 9:900. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.00900
Rosenberg MS, Adams DC, Gurevitch J (1997) MetaWin: statistical software for meta-analysis with resampling tests. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA
Senbayram M, Chen R, Budai A et al (2012) N2O emission and the N2O / (N2O + N2) product ratio of denitrification as controlled by available carbon substrates and nitrate concentrations. Agric Ecosyst Environ 147:4–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.06.022
Shan J, Yan X (2013) Effects of crop residue returning on nitrous oxide emissions in agricultural soils. Atmos Environ 71:170–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.02.009
Skiba U, Ball B (2002) The effect of soil texture and soil drainage on emissions of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide. Soil Use Manag 18:56–60. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2002.tb00050.x
Sun X, Han X, Ping F et al (2018) Effect of rice-straw biochar on nitrous oxide emissions from paddy soils under elevated CO2 and temperature. Sci Total Environ 628:1009–1016. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.046
Van Kessel C, Venterea R, Six J et al (2013) Climate, duration, and N placement determine N2O emissions in reduced tillage systems: a meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 19:33–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02779.x
Venterea RT (2007) Nitrite-driven nitrous oxide production under aerobic soil conditions: kinetics and biochemical controls. Glob Change Biol 13:1798–1809. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01389.x
Venterea RT, Clough TJ, Coulter JA et al (2015) Ammonium sorption and ammonia inhibition of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria explain contrasting soil N2O production. Soil Res 5:12153. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep12153
Vinten AJA, Davies R, Castle K et al (1998) Control of nitrate leaching from a nitrate vulnerable zone using paper mill waste. Soil Use Manag 14:44–51. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.1998.tb00609.x
Wang J, Wang D, Zhang G et al (2014a) Nitrogen and phosphorus leaching losses from intensively managed paddy fields with straw retention. Agric. Water Manag 141:66–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2014.04.008
Weitz AM, Linder E, Frolking S et al (2001) N2O emissions from humid tropical agricultural soils: effects of soil moisture, texture and nitrogen availability. Soil Biol Biochem 33:1077–1093. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(01)00013-X
Whitmore A, Groot J (1997) The decomposition of sugar beet residues: mineralization versus immobilization in contrasting soil types. Plant Soil 192:237–247. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1004288828793
Wijler J, Delwiche C (1954) Investigations on the denitrifying process in soil. Plant Soil 5:155–169. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf01343848
Xia L, Lam SK, Wolf B et al (2018) Trade-offs between soil carbon sequestration and reactive nitrogen losses under straw return in global agroecosystems. Glob Change Biol 24:5919–5932. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14466
Xia L, Lam SK, Wang S et al (2020) Optimizing nitrogen fertilization rate to enhance soil carbon storage and decrease nitrogen pollution in paddy ecosystems with simultaneous straw incorporation. Agric Ecosyst Environ 298:106968. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2020.106968
Xia L, Wang S, Yan X (2014a) Effects of long-term straw incorporation on the net global warming potential and the net economic benefit in a rice–wheat cropping system in China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 197:118–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.08.001
Xu R, Prentice IC, Spahni R et al (2012) Modelling terrestrial nitrous oxide emissions and implications for climate feedback. New Phytol 196:472–488. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2012.04269.x
Yang S, Wang Y, Liu R et al (2018a) Effects of straw application on nitrate leaching in fields in the Yellow River irrigation zone of Ningxia, China. Soil Res 8:954. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18152-w
Yang H, Yang B, Dai Y et al (2015) Soil nitrogen retention is increased by ditch-buried straw return in a rice-wheat rotation system. Eur J Agron 69:52–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2015.05.005
Yu K, Patrick WH (2003) Redox range with minimum nitrous oxide and methane production in a rice soil under different pH. Soil Sci Soc Am J 67:1952–1958. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2003.1952
Yue K, Fornara DA, Yang W et al (2017) Effects of three global change drivers on terrestrial C: N: P stoichiometry: a global synthesis. Glob Change Biol 23:2450–2463. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13569
Zechmeister-Boltenstern S, Hahn M, Meger S et al (2002) Nitrous oxide emissions and nitrate leaching in relation to microbial biomass dynamics in a beech forest soil. Soil Biol Biochem 34:823–832. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0038-0717(02)00012-3
Zhou Y, Zhang Y, Tian D et al (2017a) The influence of straw returning on N2O emissions from a maize-wheat field in the North China Plain. Sci Total Environ 584:935–941. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.141
Zhou M, Zhu B, Wang S et al (2017b) Stimulation of N2O emission by manure application to agricultural soils may largely offset carbon benefits: a global meta-analysis. Glob Change Biol 23:4068–4083. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13648
References of the meta-analysis
Abalos D, Sanz-Cobena A, Garcia-Torres L et al (2013) Role of maize stover incorporation on nitrogen oxide emissions in a non-irrigated Mediterranean barley field. Plant Soil 36:357–371. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-012-1367-4
Ambus P, Jensen E, Robertson G (2001) Nitrous oxide and N-leaching losses from agricultural soil: Influence of crop residue particle size, quality and placement. Phyton-Ann Rei Bot A 41:7–15
Aulakh MS, Khera TS, Doran JW et al (2001b) Denitrification, N2O and CO2 fluxes in rice-wheat cropping system as affected by crop residues, fertilizer N and legume green manure. Biol Fertil Soils 34:375–389. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740100420
Baggs E, Stevenson M, Pihlatie M et al (2003) Nitrous oxide emissions following application of residues and fertiliser under zero and conventional tillage. Plant Soil 254:361–370. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025593121839
Balík J, Cerny J, Tlustos P et al (2003) Nitrogen balance and mineral nitrogen content in the soil in a long experiment with maize under different systems of N fertilization. Plant Soil Environ 49:554–559. https://doi.org/10.17221/4193-PSE
Baruah A, Baruah KK (2015) Organic manures and crop residues as fertilizer substitutes: impact on nitrous oxide emission, plant growth and grain yield in pre-monsoon rice cropping system. J Environ Prot Sci 6:755–770. https://doi.org/10.4236/jep.2015.67069
Bhattacharyya P, Roy KS, Neogi S et al (2012) Effects of rice straw and nitrogen fertilization on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage in tropical flooded soil planted with rice. Soil Till Res 124:119–130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2012.05.015
Bronson KF, Neue HU, Abao E Jr et al (1997) Automated chamber measurements of methane and nitrous oxide flux in a flooded rice soil: I. Residue, nitrogen, and water management. Soil Sci Soc Am J 6:981–987. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1997.03615995006100030038x
Bugbee G, Elliott G (1998) Leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus from potting media containing biosolids compost as affected by organic and clay amendments. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 60:716–723. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001289900685
Cai Z, Laughlin RJ, Stevens RJ (2001) Nitrous oxide and dinitrogen emissions from soil under different water regimes and straw amendment. Chemosphere 42:113–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0045-6535(00)00116-8
Chen C, Bao Y, Lv Q et al (2020) Simulation and influence factors of nitrous oxide (N2O) gases emission under different straw retention depths. J Environ Eng 146:04020002. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001661
Chen H, Liu J, Zhang A et al (2017) Effects of straw and plastic film mulching on greenhouse gas emissions in Loess Plateau, China: A field study of 2 consecutive wheat-maize rotation cycles. Sci Total Environ 579:814–824. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.022
Cheng Y, Cai Z, Chang SX et al (2012) Wheat straw and its biochar have contrasting effects on inorganic N retention and N2O production in a cultivated Black Chernozem. Biol Fertil Soils 48:941–946. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-012-0687-0
Cochran V, Elliott L, Papendick R (1980) Carbon and nitrogen movement from surface-applied wheat (Triticum aestivum) straw. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44:978–982. https://doi.org/10.2136/sssaj1980.03615995004400050021x
Cui S, Yin X, Chen F et al (2011) Effects of tillage and straw returning on nitrogen leakage in double rice cropping field. Tran Chin Societ Agri Engi 27:174–179. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1002-6819.2011.10.031
Dong Z, Zhu B, Hua K et al (2015) Linkage of N2O emissions to the abundance of soil ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers in purple soil under long-term fertilization. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 61:799–807. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2015.1049930
Fracetto FJ, Fracetto GG, Bertini SC et al (2017) Effect of agricultural management on N2O emissions in the Brazilian sugarcane yield. Soil Biol Biochem 109:205–213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.02.004
Frimpong KA, Baggs E (2010) Do combined applications of crop residues and inorganic fertilizer lower emission of N2O from soil? Soil Use Manag 26:412–424. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-2743.2010.00293.x
Ganry F, Guiraud G, Dommergues Y (1978) Effect of straw incorporation on the yield and nitrogen balance in the sandy soil-pearl millet cropping system of Senegal. Plant Soil 50:647–662. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02107216
Garcia-Ruiz R, Baggs E (2007) N2O emission from soil following combined application of fertiliser-N and ground weed residues. Plant Soil 299:263–274. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-007-9382-6
Hang X, Zhang X, Song C et al (2014) Differences in rice yield and CH4 and N2O emissions among mechanical planting methods with straw incorporation in Jianghuai area, China. Soil Till Res 144:205–210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2014.07.013
Hansen E, Munkholm L, Olesen J et al (2015) Nitrate leaching, yields and carbon sequestration after noninversion tillage, catch crops, and straw retention. J Environ Qual 44:868–881. https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2014.11.0482
Hao X, Chang C, Carefoot JM et al (2001) Nitrous oxide emissions from an irrigated soil as affected by fertilizer and straw management. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 60:1–8. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012603732435
Herai Y, Kouno K, Hashimoto M et al (2006) Relationships between microbial biomass nitrogen, nitrate leaching and nitrogen uptake by corn in a compost and chemical fertilizer-amended regosol. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 52:186–194. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0765.2006.00031.x
Htun YM, Tong Y, Gao P et al (2017) Coupled effects of straw and nitrogen management on N2O and CH4 emissions of rainfed agriculture in Northwest China. Atmos Environ 157:156–166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.03.014
Hu N, Wang B, Gu Z et al (2016) Effects of different straw returning modes on greenhouse gas emissions and crop yields in a rice–wheat rotation system. Agric Ecosyst Environ 223:115–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2016.02.027
Huang T, Gao B, Christie P et al (2013) Net global warming potential and greenhouse gas intensity in a double-cropping cereal rotation as affected by nitrogen and straw management. Biogeosciences 10:7897–7911. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-10-7897-2013
Huang T, Ju X, Yang H (2017a) Nitrate leaching in a winter wheat-summer maize rotation on a calcareous soil as affected by nitrogen and straw management. Sci Rep 7:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep42247
Huang T, Yang H, Huang C et al (2017b) Effect of fertilizer N rates and straw management on yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions in a maize-wheat double cropping system. Field Crops Res 204:1–11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2017.01.004
Huang Y, Zou J, Zheng X et al (2004) Nitrous oxide emissions as influenced by amendment of plant residues with different C: N ratios. Soil Biol Biochem 36:973–981. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2004.02.009
Jacinthe PA, Lal R (2003) Nitrogen fertilization of wheat residue affecting nitrous oxide and methane emission from a central Ohio Luvisol. Biol Fertil Soils 37:338–347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-003-0607-4
Zhou J, Huang Y, Zong L et al (2004) Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions from a rice-wheat rotation as affected by crop residue incorporation and temperature. Adv Atmos Sci 21:691–698. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02916366
Kaewpradit W, Toomsan B, Vityakon P et al (2008) Regulating mineral N release and greenhouse gas emissions by mixing groundnut residues and rice straw under field conditions. Eur J Soil Sci 59:640–652. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2389.2008.01021.x
Koga N, Hayashi K, Shimoda S (2016) Differences in CO2 and N2O emission rates following crop residue incorporation with or without field burning: A case study of adzuki bean residue and wheat straw. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 62:52–56. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2015.1086278
Lenka NK, Lal R (2013) Soil aggregation and greenhouse gas flux after 15 years of wheat straw and fertilizer management in a no-till system. Soil Till Res 126:78–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2012.08.011
Li F, Cao X, Zhao L et al (2013a) Short-term effects of raw rice straw and its derived biochar on greenhouse gas emission in five typical soils in China. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 59:800–811. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2013.821391
Li L, Han X, You M et al (2013b) Nitrous oxide emissions from Mollisols as affected by long-term applications of organic amendments and chemical fertilizers. Sci Total Environ 452:302–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.03.002
Li X, Ma J, Yao Y et al (2014a) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from irrigated lowland rice paddies after wheat straw application and midseason aeration. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 100:65–76. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-014-9627-8
Li Y, Wang L, Hu L et al (2014b) Impacts of fertilization alternatives and crop straw incorporation on N2O emissions from a spring maize field in Northeastern China. J Integr Agric 13:881–892. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-3119(13)60496-7
Lin S, Iqbal J, Hu R et al (2013) Nitrous oxide emissions from yellow brown soil as affected by incorporation of crop residues with different carbon-to-nitrogen ratios: a case study in central China. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 65:183–192. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-013-9903-7
Liu C, Wang K, Meng S et al (2011) Effects of irrigation, fertilization and crop straw management on nitrous oxide and nitric oxide emissions from a wheat–maize rotation field in northern China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 140:226–233. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2010.12.009
Liu G, Yu H, Ma J et al (2015) Effects of straw incorporation along with microbial inoculant on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice fields. Sci Total Environ 518:209–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.028
Liu W, Hussain S, Wu L et al (2016a) Greenhouse gas emissions, soil quality, and crop productivity from a mono-rice cultivation system as influenced by fallow season straw management. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:315–328. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5227-7
Liu Y, Liu W, Zhu B (2016b) Effect of Fertilization Regime on soil N2O emission from upland field under wheat-maize rotation system. Acta Pedologica Sinica 3:735–745. https://doi.org/10.11766/trxb201510080392
Lou Y, Ren L, Li Z et al (2007) Effect of rice residues on carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions from a paddy soil of subtropical China. Water Air Soil Pollut 178:157–168. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-006-9187-x
Ly P, Vu QD, Jensen LS et al (2015) Effects of rice straw, biochar and mineral fertiliser on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from rice (Oryza sativa L.) grown in a rain-fed lowland rice soil of Cambodia: a pot experiment. Paddy Water Environ 13:465–475. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10333-014-0464-9
Ma E, Zhang G, Ma J et al (2010) Effects of rice straw returning methods on N2O emission during wheat-growing season. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 88:463–469. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10705-010-9369-1
Ma J, Li X, Xu H et al (2007) Effects of nitrogen fertiliser and wheat straw application on CH4 and N2O emissions from a paddy rice field. Soil Res 45:359–367. https://doi.org/10.1071/SR07039
Ma J, Ma E, Xu H et al (2009b) Wheat straw management affects CH4 and N2O emissions from rice fields. Soil Biol Biochem 41:1022–1028. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.01.024
Malhi SS, Lemke R, Wang Z et al (2006) Tillage, nitrogen and crop residue effects on crop yield, nutrient uptake, soil quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. Soil Till Res 90:171–183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2005.09.001
Meng S, Liu C, Zheng X (2012) Effects of the applied amount of wheat straw on methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and nitric oxide fluxes of a bare soil in south Shanxi. Clim Enviro Res 17:504–514. https://doi.org/10.3878/j.issn.1006-9585.2012.11017
Mitchell R, Harrison R, Russell K et al (2000) The effect of crop residue incorporation date on soil inorganic nitrogen, nitrate leaching and nitrogen mineralization. Biol Fertil Soils 32:294–301. https://doi.org/10.1007/s003740000251
Muhammad W, Vaughan SM, Dalal RC et al (2011) Crop residues and fertilizer nitrogen influence residue decomposition and nitrous oxide emission from a Vertisol. Biol Fertil Soils 47:15–23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00374-010-0497-1
Nett L, Fuss R, Flessa H et al (2015) Emissions of nitrous oxide and ammonia from a sandy soil following surface application and incorporation of cauliflower leaf residues. J Agric Sci 153:1341–1352. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859615000027
Pathak H, Singh R, Bhatia A et al (2006) Recycling of rice straw to improve wheat yield and soil fertility and reduce atmospheric pollution. Paddy and Water Environ 4:111–117. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10333-006-0038-6
Pimentel LG, Weiler DA, Pedroso GM et al (2015) Soil N2O emissions following cover-crop residues application under two soil moisture conditions. J Soil Sci Plant Nutr 178:631–640. https://doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201400392
Pitombo L, Cantarella H, Packer A et al (2017) Straw preservation reduced total N2O emissions from a sugarcane field. Soil Use Manag 33:583–594. https://doi.org/10.1111/sum.12384
Rizhiya EY, Boitsova L, Buchkina N et al (2011) The influence of crop residues with different C:N ratios on the N2O emission from a loamy sand soddy-podzolic soil. Eurasian Soil Sci 44:1144–1151. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1064229311100115
Sander BO, Samson M, Buresh RJ (2014) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from flooded rice fields as affected by water and straw management between rice crops. Geoderma 235:355–362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.07.020
Sapkota TB, Jat ML, Shankar V et al (2015) Tillage, residue and nitrogen management effects on methane and nitrous oxide emission from rice–wheat system of Indian Northwest Indo-Gangetic Plains. J Integr Environ Sci 12:31–46. https://doi.org/10.1080/1943815X.2015.1110181
Shen J, Tang H, Liu J et al (2014) Contrasting effects of straw and straw-derived biochar amendments on greenhouse gas emissions within double rice cropping systems. Agric Ecosyst Environ 188:264–274. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.03.002
Shepherd M, Lord E (1996) Nitrate leaching from a sandy soil: the effect of previous crop and post-harvest soil management in an arable rotation. J Agric Sci 127:215–229. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021859615000027
Shepherd M, Menneer J, Ledgard S et al (2010) Application of carbon additives to reduce nitrogen leaching from cattle urine patches on pasture. New J Agric Res 53:263–280. https://doi.org/10.1080/00288233.2010.501520
Siqueira Neto M, Galdos MV, Feigl BJ et al (2016) Direct N2O emission factors for synthetic N-fertilizer and organic residues applied on sugarcane for bioethanol production in central-southern Brazil. Glob Change Biol Bioenergy 8:269–280. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12251
Thomsen IK, Christensen BT (1998) Cropping system and residue management effects on nitrate leaching and crop yields. Agric Ecosyst Environ 68:73–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(97)00134-5
Toma Y, Hatano R (2007) Effect of crop residue C:N ratio on N2O emissions from Gray Lowland soil in Mikasa, Hokkaido, Japan. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 53:198–205. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0765.2007.00125.x
Vano I, Matsushima M, Tang C et al (2011) Effects of peat moss and sawdust compost applications on N2O emission and N leaching in blueberry cultivating soils. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 57:348–360. https://doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2011.574596
Velthof GL, Kuikman PJ, Oenema O (2002) Nitrous oxide emission from soils amended with crop residues. Nutr Cycling Agroecosyst 62:249–261. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021259107244
Wang C, Shen J, Tang H et al (2017) Greenhouse gas emissions in response to straw incorporation, water management and their interaction in a paddy field in subtropical central China. Arch Agron Soil Sci 63:171–184. https://doi.org/10.1080/03650340.2016.1193163
Wang H, Shen M, Lu C et al (2014b) Effect of patterns of straw returning to field on methane and nitrous oxide emissions during rice-growing season in a rice-wheat double cropping system. Jiangsu J Agric Sci 30:758–763. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1000-4440.2014.04.011
Wang J, Jia J, Xiong Z et al (2011) Water regime–nitrogen fertilizer–straw incorporation interaction: field study on nitrous oxide emissions from a rice agroecosystem in Nanjing, China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 141:437–446. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2011.04.009
Wang J, Wang D, Zhang G et al (2014c) Nitrogen and phosphorus leaching losses from intensively managed paddy fields with straw retention. Agric Water Manag 141:66–73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2014.04.008
Wang W, Reeves S, Salter B et al (2016a) Effects of urea formulations, application rates and crop residue retention on N2O emissions from sugarcane fields in Australia. Agric Ecosyst Environ 216:137–146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2015.09.035
Wang W, Wu X, Chen A et al (2016b) Mitigating effects of ex situ application of rice straw on CH4 and N2O emissions from paddy-upland coexisting system. Sci Rep 6:1–8. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep37402
Wang Y, Hu C, Zhu B et al (2010) Effects of wheat straw application on methane and nitrous oxide emissions from purplish paddy fields. Plant Soil Environ 56: 16-22. https://doi.org/10.17221/144/2009-PSE
Wu X, Wang W, Xie X et al (2018a) Response of N2O emission to straw retention under two contrasting paddy water conditions: a field experiment over rice–rice-fallow rotation. Paddy Water Environ 16:199–205. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10333-017-0621-z
Wu X, Wang W, Xie X et al (2018b) Effects of rice straw mulching on N2O emissions and maize productivity in a rain-fed upland. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25:6407–6413. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0989-8
Xia L, Wang S, Yan X (2014b) Effects of long-term straw incorporation on the net global warming potential and the net economic benefit in a rice–wheat cropping system in China. Agric Ecosyst Environ 197:118–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2014.08.001
Xu H, Li D, Zhu B et al (2017) CH4 and N2O emissions from double-rice cropping system as affected by Chinese milk vetch and straw incorporation in southern China. Front Agr Sci Eng 4:59–68. https://doi.org/10.15302/J-FASE-2017137
Xu C, Han X, Ru S et al (2019) Crop straw incorporation interacts with N fertilizer on N2O emissions in an intensively cropped farmland. Geoderma 341:129–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2019.01.014
Yan X, Akimoto H, Ohara T (2003) Estimation of nitrous oxide, nitric oxide and ammonia emissions from croplands in East, Southeast and South Asia. Glob Change Biol 9:1080–1096. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2486.2003.00649.x
Yang H, Xu M, Koide RT et al (2016) Effects of ditch-buried straw return on water percolation, nitrogen leaching and crop yields in a rice–wheat rotation system. J Sci Food Agric 96:1141–1149. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.7196
Yang S, Wang Y, Liu R et al (2018b) Effects of straw application on nitrate leaching in fields in the Yellow River irrigation zone of Ningxia, China. Sci Rep 8:1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18152-w
Yao Z, Yan G, Zheng X et al (2017) Straw return reduces yield-scaled N2O plus NO emissions from annual winter wheat-based cropping systems in the North China Plain. Sci Total Environ 590:174–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.194
Yao Z, Zheng X, Wang R et al (2013) Nitrous oxide and methane fluxes from a rice–wheat crop rotation under wheat residue incorporation and no-tillage practices. Atmos Environ 79:641–649. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.07.006
Zhang A, Cheng G, Hussain Q et al (2017a) Contrasting effects of straw and straw–derived biochar application on net global warming potential in the Loess Plateau of China. Field Crops Res 205:45–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2017.02.006
Zhang X, Zhang J, Zheng C et al (2017b) Significant residual effects of wheat fertilization on greenhouse gas emissions in succeeding soybean growing season. Soil Till Res 169:7–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.still.2017.01.008
Zhang Y, Liu J, Mu Y et al (2012) Nitrous oxide emissions from a maize field during two consecutive growing seasons in the North China Plain. J Environ Sci 24:160–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1001-0742(10)60594-3
Zhang Z, Guo L, Liu T et al (2015) Effects of tillage practices and straw returning methods on greenhouse gas emissions and net ecosystem economic budget in rice–wheat cropping systems in central China. Atmos Environ 122:636–644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2015.09.065
Zhou Y, Zhang Y, Tian D et al (2017c) The influence of straw returning on N2O emissions from a maize-wheat field in the North China Plain. Sci Total Environ 584:935–941. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.141
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. This study was conducted in the INPLAMINT project of the BonaRes initiative, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, FKZ 031B0508A), and supported by the Chinese Scholarship Council (scholarship no. 201706910069).
Consent to participate
Consent for publication
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Li, Z., Reichel, R., Xu, Z. et al. Return of crop residues to arable land stimulates N2O emission but mitigates NO3− leaching: a meta-analysis. Agron. Sustain. Dev. 41, 66 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-021-00715-x