Methane Emissions and Mitigation Options in Irrigated Rice Fields in Southeast China
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Methane (CH4) emissions from rice fields were monitored in Hangzhou, China, from 1995 to 1998 by an automatic measurement system based on the "closed chamber technique." The impacts of water management, organic inputs, and cultivars on CH4 emission were evaluated. Under the local crop management system, seasonal emissions ranging from 53 to 557 kg CH4 ha−1 were observed with an average value of 182 kg CH4 ha−1. Methane emission patterns differed among rice seasons and were generally governed by temperature changes. Emissions showed an increasing trend in early rice and a decreasing trend in late rice. In a single rice field, CH4 emissions increased during the first half of the growing period and decreased during the second half. Drainage was a major modifier of seasonal CH4 emission pattern. The local practice of midseason drainage reduced CH4 emissions by 44% as compared with continuous flooding; CH4 emissions could further be reduced by intermittent irrigation, yielding a 30% reduction as compared with midseason drainage. The incorporation of organic amendments promoted CH4 emission, but the amount of emission varied with the type of organic material and application method. Methane emission from fields where biogas residue was applied was 10–16% lower than those given the same quantity (based on N content) of pig manure. Rice straw applied before the winter fallow period reduced CH4 emission by 11% as compared with that obtained from fields to which the same amount of rice straw was applied during field preparation. Broadcasting of straw instead of incorporation into the soil showed less emission (by 12%). Cultivar selection influenced CH4 emission, but the differences were smaller than those among organic treatments and water regimes. Modifications in water regime and organic inputs were identified as promising mitigation options in southeast China.
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