Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 49, Issue 1–3, pp 111–117 | Cite as

Factors and processes controlling methane emissions from rice fields

  • H.U. Neue
  • R. Wassmann
  • H.K. Kludze
  • Wang Bujun
  • R.S. Lantin


Understanding the major controlling factors of methane emissions from ricefields is critical for estimates of source strengths. This paper reports results on the relationship of different plant characteristics and methane fluxes in ricefields.

Methane fluxes in ricefields show distinct diel and seasonal variations. Diel variations are mainly controlled by soil solution temperature and the partial pressure of methane. One or two distinct seasonal maxima are observed in irrigated ricefields. The first is governed by methane production from soil and added organic matter and a second at heading is plant derived. During ripening and maturity, root exudation, root porosity and root oxidation power may control methane emission rates. Rice plants play an important role in methane flux. The aerenchyma conduct methane from the bulk soil into the atmosphere. The amount of carbon utilized in methane formation varied among cultivars. A strong positive effect of rice root exudates on methane production imply that cultivar selections for lower methane emissions should not only be based on the gas transport capabilities but also on the quality and quantity of root exudates.

Soils show a wide range of methane production potential but no simple correlation between any stable soil property and methane production is evident. Various cultural practices affect methane emissions. Defined aeration periods reduce methane emissions. Soil entrapped methane is released to the atmosphere as a result of soil disturbances. Mineral fertilizers influence methane production and sulfate containing fertilizer decrease methane production. The methane release per m2 from different rice ecosystems follow the order: deepwater rice>irrigated rice>rainfed rice. Abatement strategies may only be accepted if the methane source strength of ricefields is reliably discriminated and if mitigation technologies are in accordance with increased rice production and productivity.

diel patterns methane methane emissions methane emissions from ricefields methane flux root exudates 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andal R, Bhuvanesware K & Subba-Rao N (1956) Root exudates of paddy. Nature 178: 1063CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butterbach-Bahl K (1992) Mechanismen der Produktion und Emission von Methan in Reisfeldern: Abhängigkeit von Felddüngung und angebauter Varietät. Diss. Techn. Univ. München. Schriftenreihe des Fraunhofer Instituts für Atmospherische Umweltforschung Bd. 14. Wiss. Verl. Mauraun, Frankfurt/M, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  3. Erda L (1993) Agricultural techniques: factors controlling methane emission. In: Gao L, Wu L, Zhen D & Han X (eds) Proc Internationl Symposium on Climate Change, Natural Disasters and Agricultural Strategies, pp 120–126. May 26–29, 1993, Beijing, China. China Meteorological Press, Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  4. Hale MG & Moore LD (1979) Factors affecting root exudition. Adv Agron 31: 93–123Google Scholar
  5. Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R & Seiler W (1986) Effects of vegetation on the emission of methane from submerged paddy soil. Plant Soil 92: 223–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kludze HK, DeLaune RD & Patrick WH Jr (1993) Aerenchyma formation and methane and oxygen exchange in rice. Soil Sci Soc Am J 57: 386–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kludze HK, Neue HU, Llenaresas D & Lantin RS (1996) Rice root exudation and its impact on methane production. Soil Sci Soc Am J (In press)Google Scholar
  8. Ladha JK, Tirol AC, Darby LG, Caldo G, Ventura W & Watanabe L (1986) Plant associated N2 fixation (C2H2-reduction) by five rice varieties and relationship with plant growth characters as affected by straw incorporation. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 32: 91–106Google Scholar
  9. MacRae IC & Castro TF (1966) Carbohydrates and amino acids in the root exudates of rice seedlings. Phyton 23: 95–100Google Scholar
  10. Mariko S, Harazono YN & Nouchi I (1991) Methane in flooded soil, water and the emission through rice plants to the atmosphere. Environ Exp Bot 31(3): 343–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Marschner H (1985) Mineral nutrition in higher plants. Academic press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  12. Neue HU (1993) Methane emission from rice fields. BioScience 43(7): 466–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Neue HU & Sass R (1994) Trace gas emissions from rice fields. In: Prinn RC (ed) Global Atmospheric-Biospheric Chemistry. Environmental Science Res 48, pp 119–148. Plenum Press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  14. Neue HU, Lantin RS, Wassmann R, Aduna JB, Alberto MCR & Andales MJF (1994) Methane emission from rice soils of the Philippines. In: Minami K, Mosier AR & Sass RL (eds) CH4 and N2O-Global Emissions and Controls from Rice Fields and Other Agricultural and Industrial Sources, NIAES Series 2, pp 55–77. NIAES, Tokyo, JapanGoogle Scholar
  15. Nouchi I, Mariko S & Aoki K (1990) Mechanism of methane transport from the rhizosphere to the atmosphere through rice plants. Plant Physiol 94: 59–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Parashar DC, Rai J, Gupta PK & Singh N (1990) Parameters affecting methane emission from paddy fields. Indian J Radio Space Phys 20: 12–17Google Scholar
  17. Sass RL, Fisher FM, Harcombe PA & Turner FT (1990) Methane production and emission in a Texas rice feld. Global Biogeochem Cycles 4(1): 47–68Google Scholar
  18. Sass RL, Fisher FM, Harcombe PA & Turner FT (1991) Mitigation of methane emission from rice fields: effect of incorporated rice straw. Global Biogeochem Cycles 5: 275–288Google Scholar
  19. Schütz H, Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R, Rennenberg H & Seiler W (1989) A three-year continuous record on the influence of daytime season and fertilizer treatment on methane emission rates from an Italian rice paddy field. J Geophys Res 94: 16405–16416Google Scholar
  20. Schütz H, Schröder P & Rennenberg H (1991) Role of plants in regulating the methane flux to the atmosphere. In: Sharkey TD, Holland EA & Mooney HA (eds) Trace Gas Emission from Plants. Academic Press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
  21. Seiler W (1984) Contribution of biological processes to the global budget of methane in the atmosphere. In: Klug MJ & Reddy CA (eds) Current Perspectives in Microbial Ecology, pp 468–477. American Society of Microbiology, Washington DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. Seiler W, Holzapfel-Pschorn A, Conrad R & Scharfe D (1984) Methane emission from rice paddies. J Atmos Chem 1: 241–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Trolldenier G (1977) Mineral nutrition and reduction processes in the rhizosphere of rice. Plant Soil 47: 193–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Vancura V & Stotzky G (1976) Gaseous and volatile exudates from germinating seeds and seedlings. Can J Bot 54: 518–532Google Scholar
  25. Wang Bujun (1995) Effects of rice cultivars on diel and seasonal methane emission. Ph.D.thesis, University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Philippines. 130 pGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang ZP, Lindau CW, Delaune RD & Patrick WH Jr (1992) Methane production from anaerobic soil amended with rice straw and nitrogen fertilizers. Fert Res 33: 115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang ZP, Delaune RD, Masscheleyn PH & Patrick WH Jr (1993) Soil redox and pH effects on methane production in a flooded rice soil. Soil Soc Am J 57: 382–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wassmann R, Neue HU, Lantin RS, Aduna JB, Alberto MCR, Andales MJ, Tan MJ, Denier van der Gon HAC, Hoffmann H, Papen H, Rennenerg H & Seiler W (1994) Temporal patterns of methane emissions from wetland ricefields treated by different modes of N-application. J Geophys Res 99: 16457–16462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wassmann R, Neue HU, Lantin RS, Javellana MJ, Diego R, Lignes VE, Hoffmann H, Papen H & Rennenberg H (1995a) Methane emission from rainfed rice felds. In: Fragile Lives in Fragile Ecosystems, pp 218–225. International Rice Research Institute, Manila, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  30. Wassmann R, Neue HU, Alberto MCR, Lantin RS, Bueno C, Llenaresas D, Arah JRM, Papen H, Seiler W & Rennenberg H (1995b) Fluxes and pools of methane in wetland rice soils with varying organic inputs. Environ Monit Assess 42: 163–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wilson JO, Crill PM, Bartlett KB, Sebacher DI, Harris PC & Sass RL (1989) Seasonal variation of methane emission from a temperate swamp. Biogeochem 8: 55–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.U. Neue
    • 1
  • R. Wassmann
    • 1
  • H.K. Kludze
    • 1
  • Wang Bujun
    • 1
  • R.S. Lantin
    • 1
  1. 1.Soil and Water Sciences DivisionInternational Rice Research InstituteManilaPhilippines

Personalised recommendations