Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 249–261 | Cite as

Nitrous oxide emission from soils amended with crop residues

  • Gerard L. Velthof
  • Peter J. Kuikman
  • Oene Oenema


Crop residues incorporated in soil are a potentially important source of nitrous oxide (N2O), though poorly quantified. Here, we report on the N2O emission from 10 crop residues added to a sandy and a clay soil, both with and without additional nitrate (NO3). In the sandy soil, total N2O emission from wheat, maize, and barley residues was not significantly different from the control. The total N2O emission from white cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, sugar beet residues and broccoli ranged from 0.13 to 14.6 % of the amount of N added as residue and were higher with additional NO3 than without additional NO3. In the clay soil, similar effects of crop residues were found, but the magnitude of the N2O emission was much smaller than that in the sandy soil: less than 1 % of the residue N evolved as N2O. The C-to-N ratio of the residue accounted for only 22–34% and the mineralizable N content of the residue for 18–74% of the variance in N2O emission. We suggest that the current IPCC methodology for estimating N2O emission from crop residues may be considerably improved by defining crop specific emission factors instead of one emission factor for all crop residues.

Crop residue Emission factor Laboratory study Mineralisation Nitrous oxide Soil 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard L. Velthof
    • 1
  • Peter J. Kuikman
    • 1
  • Oene Oenema
    • 1
  1. 1.AlterraWageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands

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