Ammonia emissions from soil under sheep grazing in inner mongolian grasslands of China

Abstract

Ammonia (NH3) emission and redeposition play a major role in terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycles and can also cause environmental problems, such as changes in biodiversity, soil acidity, and eutrophication. Previous field grazing experiments showed inconsistent (positive, neutral, and negative) NH3 volatilization from soils in response to varying grazing intensities. However, it remains unclear whether, or to what extent, NH3 emissions from soil are affected by increasing grazing intensities in Inner Mongolian grasslands. Using a 5-year grazing experiment, we investigated the relationship between NH3 volatilization from soil and grazing pressure (0.0, 3.0, 6.0, and 9.0 sheep/hm2) from June to September of 2009 and 2010 via the vented-chamber method. The results show that soil NH3 volatilization was not significantly different at different grazing intensities in 2009, although it was higher at the highest stocking rate during 2010. There was no significant linear relationship between soil NH3 volatilization rates and soil NH4 +-N, but soil NH3 volatilization rates were significantly related to soil water content and air temperature. Grazing intensities had no significant influence on soil NH3 volatilization. Soil NH3 emissions from June to September (grazing period), averaged over all grazing intensities, were 9.6±0.2 and 19.0±0.2 kg N/hm2 in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Moreover, linear equations describing monthly air temperature and precipitation showed a good fit to changes in soil NH3 emissions (r=0.506, P=0.014). Overall, grazing intensities had less influence than that of climatic factors on soil NH3 emissions. Our findings provide new insights into the effects of grazing on NH3 volatilization from soil in Inner Mongolian grasslands, and have important implications for understanding N cycles in grassland ecosystems and for estimating soil NH3 emissions on a regional scale.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Andrioli R J, Distel R A, Didoné N G. 2010. Influence of cattle grazing on nitrogen cycling in soils beneath Stipa tenuis, native to central Argentina. Journal of Arid Environments, 74(3): 419–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Asman W A H, Sutton M A, Schjorring J K. 1998. Ammonia: emission, atmospheric transport and deposition. New Phytologist, 139(1): 27–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Battye W, Aneja V P, Roelle P A. 2003. Evaluation and improvement of ammonia emissions inventories. Atmospheric Environment, 37(27): 3873–3883.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bolan N S, Saggar S, Luo J F, et al. 2004. Gaseous emissions of nitrogen from grazed pastures: processes, measurements and modelling, environmental implications, and mitigation. Advances in Agronomy, 84: 37–120.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Bowden W B. 1986. Gaseous nitrogen emmissions from undisturbed terrestrial ecosystems: an assessment of their impacts on local and global nitrogen budgets. Biogeochemistry, 2(3): 249–279.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bussink D W, Oenema O. 1998. Ammonia volatilization from dairy farming systems in temperate areas: a review. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems, 51(1): 19–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Cao S X, Sun G, Zhang Z Q, et al. 2011. Greening China naturally. AMBIO, 40(7): 828–831.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chen Z Z. 1988. Topography and climate of Xilin River Basin. In: Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Research on Grassland Ecosystem. Beijing: Science Press, 13–22.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Clarisse L, Clerbaux C, Dentener F, et al. 2009. Global ammonia distribution derived from infrared satellite observations. Nature Geoscience, 2(7): 479–483.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Denmead O T, Simpson J R, Freney J R. 1974. Ammonia flux into the atmosphere from a grazed pasture. Science, 185(4151): 609–610.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Eckard R J, Chen D, White R E, et al. 2003. Gaseous nitrogen loss from temperate perennial grass and clover dairy pastures in south-eastern Australia. Crop and Pasture Science, 54(6): 561–570.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Feng X M, Zhao Y S. 2011. Grazing intensity monitoring in Northern China steppe: integrating CENTURY model and MODIS data. Ecological Indicators, 11(1): 175–182.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Fenn L B, Kissel D E. 1974. Ammonia volatilization from surface applications of ammonium-compounds on calcareous soils: II. ef fects of temperature and rate of ammonium nitrogen application. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 38(4): 606–610.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Fenn L B, Escarzaga R. 1976. Ammonia volatilization from surface applications of ammonium-compounds on calcareous soils: V. soil-water content and method of nitrogen application. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 40(4): 537–541.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Fleisher Z, Kenig A, Ravina I, et al. 1987. Model of ammonia volatilization from calcareous soils. Plant and Soil, 103(2): 205–212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Frank D A, Zhang Y M. 1997. Ammonia volatilization from a seasonally and spatially variable grazed grassland: Yellowstone National Park. Biogeochemistry, 36(2): 189–203.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Frank D A, Evans R D, Tracy B F. 2004. The role of ammonia volatilization in controlling the natural 15N abundance of a grazed grassland. Biogeochemistry, 68(2): 169–178.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Harper L A, Catchpoole V R, Davis R, et al. 1983. Ammonia volatilization: soil, plant, and microclimate effects on diurnal and seasonal fluctuations. Agronomy Journal, 75(2): 212–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Hatch D J, Jarvis S C, Dollard G J. 1990. Measurements of ammonia emission from grazed grassland. Environmental Pollution, 65(4): 333–346.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. He N P, Zhang Y H, Yu Q, et al. 2011. Grazing intensity impacts soil carbon and nitrogen storage of continental steppe. Ecosphere, 2(1): art8. doi: 10.1890/ES10-00017.1

  21. He N P, Zhang Y H, Dai J Z, et al. 2012. Land-use impact on soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration in typical steppe ecosystems, Inner Mongolia. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 22(5): 859–873.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hutchings N J, Sommer S G, Jarvis S C. 1996. A model of ammonia volatilization from a grazing livestock farm. Atmospheric Environment, 30(4): 589–599.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Jiang Y, Bi X L, Huang J H, et al. 2011. Patterns and drivers of vegetation degradation in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology, 34(10): 1132–1141.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Laubach J, Taghizadeh-Toosi A, Sherlock R R, et al. 2012. Measuring and modelling ammonia emissions from a regular pattern of cattle urine patches. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 156: 1–17.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Liu G D, Li Y C, Alva A K. 2007a. Temperature quotients of ammonia emission of different nitrogen sources applied to four agricultural soils. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 71(5): 1482–1489.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Liu G D, Li Y C, Alva A K. 2007b. Moisture quotients for ammonia volatilization from four soils in potato production regions. Water, Air & Soil Pollution, 183(1–4): 115–127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. McCalley C K, Sparks J P. 2008. Controls over nitric oxide and ammonia emissions from Mojave Desert soils. Oecologia, 156(4): 871–881.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Mills H A, Barker A V, Maynard D N. 1974. Ammonia volatilization from soils. Agronomy Journal, 66(3): 355–358.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Myles L T. 2009. Atmospheric science: underestimating ammonia. Nature Geoscience, 2(7): 461–462.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Potter C, Klooster S, Krauter C. 2003. Regional modeling of ammonia emissions from native soil sources in California. Earth Interactions, 7(11): 1–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Rao D L N, Batra L. 1983. Ammonia volatilization from applied nitrogen in alkali soils. Plant and Soil, 70(2): 219–228.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Renner E, Wolke R. 2010. Modelling the formation and atmospheric transport of secondary inorganic aerosols with special attention to regions with high ammonia emissions. Atmospheric Environment, 44(15): 1904–1912.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Ruess R W, McNaughton S J. 1988. Ammonia volatilization and the effects of large grazing mammals on nutrient loss from East African grasslands. Oecologia, 77(3): 382–386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Schlesinger W H, Hartley A E. 1992. A global budget for atmospheric NH3. Biogeochemistry, 15(3): 191–211.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Schönbach P, Wan H, Schiborra A, et al. 2009. Short-term management and stocking rate effects of grazing sheep on herbage quality and productivity of Inner Mongolia steppe. Crop and Pasture Science, 60(10): 963–974.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Shan Y M, Chen D M, Guan X X, et al. 2011. Seasonally dependent impacts of grazing on soil nitrogen mineralization and linkages to ecosystem functioning in Inner Mongolia grassland. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 43(9): 1943–1954.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Sheppard L J, Leith I D, Mizunuma T, et al. 2011. Dry deposition of ammonia gas drives species change faster than wet deposition of ammonium ions: Evidence from a long-term field manipulation. Global Change Biology, 17(12): 3589–3607.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Smart J C R, Hicks K, Morrissey T, et al. 2011. Applying the ecosystem service concept to air quality management in the UK: a case study for ammonia. Environmetrics, 22(5): 649–661.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Smith E, Gordon R, Bourque C, et al. 2009. Simulated management effects on ammonia emissions from field applied manure. Journal of Environmental Management, 90(8): 2531–2536.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Stevens C J, Tilman D. 2010. Point source ammonia emissions are having a detrimental impact on prairie vegetation. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 211(1–4): 435–441.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Walker J T, Whitall D R, Robarge W, et al. 2004. Ambient ammonia and ammonium aerosol across a region of variable ammonia emission density. Atmospheric Environment, 38(9): 1235–1246.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Wang C H, Wan S Q, Xing X R, et al. 2006. Temperature and soil moisture interactively affected soil net N mineralization in temperate grassland in Northern China. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 38(5): 1101–1110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Wang J, Baoyin T G T. 2005. The study on characteristics of biomass composition of natural Leymus chinensis steppe on a deteriorated series in Neimongol. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Neimongol, 36(2): 155–160.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Wang J W, Cai Y C. 1988. Studies on genesis, types and characteristics of the soils of the Xilin River Basin. In: Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station. Research on Grassland Ecosystem. Beijing: Science Press, 23–83.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Wang Z H, Liu X J, Ju X T, et al. 2004. Ammonia volatilization loss from surface-broadcast urea: Comparison of vented- and closed-chamber methods and loss in winter wheat-summer maize rotation in North China Plain. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 35(19–20): 2917–2939.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Webb J, Misselbrook T H. 2004. A mass-flow model of ammonia emissions from UK livestock production. Atmospheric Environment, 38(14): 2163–2176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Wittmer M H O M, Auerswald K, Schönbach P, et al. 2011. 15N fractionation between vegetation, soil, faeces and wool is not influenced by stocking rate. Plant and Soil, 340(1–2): 25–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Wu H H. 2011. The effect of grazing on N turnover in the Inner Mongolia Steppe. PhD Dissertation. Beijing: Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 28–56.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Wu H H, Dannenmann M, Fanselow N, et al. 2011. Feedback of grazing on gross rates of N mineralization and inorganic N partitioning in steppe soils of Inner Mongolia. Plant and Soil, 340(1–2): 127–139.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Xiao H W, Xiao H Y, Long A M, et al. 2012. Who controls the monthly variations of NH4 + nitrogen isotope composition in precipitation? Atmospheric Environment, 54: 201–206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Xu Y Q, Li L H, Wang Q B, et al. 2007. The pattern between nitrogen mineralization and grazing intensities in an Inner Mongolian typical steppe. Plant and Soil, 300(1–2): 289–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Xu Y Q, He J C, Li L H, et al. 2010. Ammonia volatilization in a semi-arid rangeland in Inner Mongolia. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 1(1): 68–74.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Zaman M, Saggar S, Blennerhassett J D, et al. 2009. Effect of urease and nitrification inhibitors on N transformation, gaseous emissions of ammonia and nitrous oxide, pasture yield and N uptake in grazed pasture system. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41(6): 1270–1280.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Zhao Y, Peth S, Reszkowska A, et al. 2011. Response of soil moisture and temperature to grazing intensity in a Leymus chinensis steppe, Inner Mongolia. Plant and Soil, 340(1–2): 89–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to XingGuo Han.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zhang, Y., He, N., Zhang, G. et al. Ammonia emissions from soil under sheep grazing in inner mongolian grasslands of China. J. Arid Land 5, 155–165 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-013-0149-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • NH3
  • N emission
  • grazing intensity
  • stocking rate
  • nitrogen cycle
  • Inner Mongolia