Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 63, Issue 2–3, pp 239–247 | Cite as

Nitrous oxide emissions for 6 years from a gray lowland soil cultivated with onions in Hokkaido, Japan

  • Kanako Kusa
  • Takuji Sawamoto
  • Ryusuke Hatano


We studied nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions every growing season (April to October) for 6 years (1995∼2000), in a Gray Lowland soil cultivated with onions in central Hokkaido, Japan. Emission of N2O from the onion field ranged from 0.00 to 1.86 mgN m−2 h−1. The seasonal pattern of N2O emission was the same for 6 years. The largest N2O emissions appeared near harvesting in August to October, and not, as might be expected, just after fertilization in May. The seasonal patterns of soil nitrate (NO3) and, ammonium (NH4+) levels and the ratio of N2O to NO emission indicated that the main process of N2O production after fertilization was nitrification, and the main process of N2O production around harvest time was denitrification. N2O emission was strongly influenced by the drying–wetting process of the soil, as well as by the high soil water content. The annual N2O emission during the growing season ranged from 3.5 to 15.6 kgN ha−1. The annual nitrogen loss by N2O emission as a percentage of fertilizer-N ranged from 1.1 to 6.4%. About 70% of the annual N2O emission occurred near harvesting in August to October, and less than 20% occurred just after fertilization in May to July. High N2O fluxes around the harvesting stage and a high proportion of N2O emission to total fertilizer-N appeared to be probably a characteristic of the study area located in central Hokkaido, Japan.

denitrification gray lowland soil nitrification nitrous oxide (N2O) rainfall 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akiyama H, Tsuruta H & Watanabe T (2000) N2O and NO emissions from soils after the application of different chemical fertilizers. Chemosphere-Global Change Sci 2: 313–320Google Scholar
  2. Blackmer AM, Robbins SG & Bremner JM (1982) Diurnal variability in rate of emission of N2O from soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46: 937–942Google Scholar
  3. Bouwman AF (1990) Exchange of greenhouse gases between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. In: Bouwman AF (ed) Soils and the Greenhouse Effect, pp 100–120 John Wiley and Sons LtdGoogle Scholar
  4. Bouwman AF (1996) Direct emission of nitrous oxide from agricultural soils. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 49: 7–16Google Scholar
  5. Cultivated Soil Classification Committee (1995) Classification of cultivated soil in Japan. 17 pp 35. NIAS, JapanGoogle Scholar
  6. Davidson EA (1992) Source of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide following wetting of dry soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 56: 95–102Google Scholar
  7. Denmead OT, Freney JR & Simpson JR (1979a) N2O emission during denitrification in a flooded field. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43: 716–718Google Scholar
  8. Denmead OT, Freney JR & Simpson JR (1979b) Studies of N2O emission from a grass sward. Soil Sci Soc Am J 43: 726–728Google Scholar
  9. Freney JR (1997) Emission of N2O from soils used for agriculture. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 49: 1–6Google Scholar
  10. Granli T & Bøckman OC (1994) Temperature, nitrous oxide from agriculture. Norwegian J Agric Sci 12: 71–75Google Scholar
  11. Hou A, Akiyama H, Nakajima Y, Sudo S & Tsuruta H (2000) Effects of urea and soil moisture on N2O and NO emissions from Japanese Andosols. Chemosphere-Global Change Sci 2: 321–327.Google Scholar
  12. Kroeze C, Mosier A & Bouwman L (1999) Closing the global N2O budget: A retrospective analysis 1500–1994. Global Biogeochem Cycles 13: 1–8Google Scholar
  13. Lessard R, Rochette P, Gregorich EG, Pattey E & Desjardins RL (1996) N2O fluxes from manure-amended soil under maize. J Environ Qual 25: 1371–1377Google Scholar
  14. Linn DM & Doran JW (1984) Effect of water-filled pore space on carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide production in tilled and non tilled soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 48: 1267–1272Google Scholar
  15. Lipschultz F, Zafirou OC, Wofsy SC, McElroy MB, Valois FW & Watson SW (1981) Production of NO and N2O by soil nitrifying bacteria. Nature 294: 641–643Google Scholar
  16. Minami K (1997) Atmospheric methane and nitrous oxide: sources, sinks and strategies for reducing agricultural emissions. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 49: 203–211Google Scholar
  17. Penman HL (1948) Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and glass. Proc Roy Soc London A 193: 120–145Google Scholar
  18. Rolston DE (1986) Gas flux, method of soil analysis, Part 1. Physical and Mineralogical Methods, 2nd edn, pp 1103–1119. American Society of Agronomy-Soil Sci Soc AmGoogle Scholar
  19. Ryden JC, Lund LJ & Focht DD (1978) Direct In-field measurement of N2O flux from soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 42: 731–737Google Scholar
  20. Sapporo Distinct Meteorological Observatory (1991) Climate in Hokkaido, Japan. Sapporo District Meteorological Observatory (1995–2000) Monthly climate data in Hokkaido, JapanGoogle Scholar
  21. Scholes MC, Martin R, Scholes RJ, Parsons D & Winstead E (1997) NO and N2O emissions from savanna soils following the first simulated rains of the season. Nutr Cycl Agroecosyst 48: 115–122Google Scholar
  22. Skiba U, Smith KA & Fowler D (1993) Nitrification and denitrification as a source of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide in a sandy loam soil. Soil Biol Biochem 25: 1527–1536Google Scholar
  23. Smith KA, Thomson PE, Clayton H, Mctaggart IP & Conten F (1998) Effects of temperature, water content and nitrogen fertilization on emissions of nitrous oxide by soils. Atmospher Environ 32: 3301–3309Google Scholar
  24. Thomson PE, Parker JP, Jonathan RMA, Clayton H & Smith KA (1997) Automated soil monolith-flux chamber system for the study of trace gas fluxes. Soil Sci Soc Am J 61: 1323–1330Google Scholar
  25. Thotnton FC & Valente RJ (1996) Soil emission of nitric oxide and nitrous oxide from no-till corn. Soil Sci Soc Am J 60: 1127–1133Google Scholar
  26. Tsuruta H (1997) Emission rates of methane from rice paddy fields and of N2O from fertilized upland fields estimated from intensive field measurement for three years (1992–1994) all over Japan. Res Rep of Div Environ Planning NIAES 13: 101–130Google Scholar
  27. Yoh M, Toda H, Kanda K & Tsuruta H (1997) Diffusion analysis of N2O cycling a fertilized soil. Nutri Cycl Agroecosyst 49: 29–33Google Scholar
  28. Yamulki S, Goulding KWT, Webster CP & Harrison RM (1995) Studies on NO and N2O fluxes from a wheat field. Atmospher environt 29: 1627–1635Google Scholar
  29. Wagner-Riddle C, Thurtell GW, King KM, Kidd GE & Beauchamp EG (1996) Nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide fluxes from a bare soil using a micrometeorological approach. J Environ Qual 25: 898–907Google Scholar
  30. Williams DL, Ineson P & Coward PA (1999) Temporal variations in nitrous oxide fluxes from urine-affected grassland. Soil Biol Biochem 31: 779–788Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kanako Kusa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takuji Sawamoto
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ryusuke Hatano
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Soil Science, Graduate School of AgricultureHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa RegionFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.National Institute for Agro-environmental SciencesTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Field Science Center for Northern BiosphereHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations