Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 64, Issue 1–2, pp 203–211 | Cite as

Urease and nitrification inhibitors to reduce emissions of CH4 and N2O in rice production

  • Xingkai XuEmail author
  • Pascal Boeckx
  • Oswald Van Cleemput
  • Likai Zhou


Strategies used to reduce emissions of N2O and CH4 in rice production normally include irrigation management and fertilization. To date, little information has been published on the measures that can simultaneously reduce both emissions. Effects of application of a urease inhibitor, hydroquinone (HQ), and a nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD) together with urea (U) on N2O and CH4 emission from rice growing were studied in pot experiments. These fertilization treatments were carried out in the presence and absence of wheat straw, applied to the soil surface. Without wheat straw addition, in all treatments with inhibitor(s) the emission of N2O and CH4 was significantly reduced, as compared with the treatment whereby only urea was applied (control). Especially for the U+HQ+DCD treatment, the total emission of N2O and CH4 was about 1/3 and 1/2 of that in the control, respectively. In the presence of wheat straw, the total N2O emission from the U+HQ+DCD treatment was about 1/2 of that from the control. The total CH4 emission was less influenced. Wheat straw addition, however, induced a substantial increase in emissions of N2O and CH4. Hence, simultaneous application of organic materials with a high C/N ratio and N-fertilizer (e.g. urea) is not a suitable method to reduce the N2O and CH4 emission. Application of HQ+DCD together with urea seemed to improve the rice growth and to reduce both emissions. The NO3-N content of the rice plants and denitrification of (NO3+NO2)-N might contribute to the N2O emission from flooded rice fields.

methane nitrification inhibitor nitrous oxide rice urea urease inhibitor 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adhya TK, Patnaik P, Rao VR & Sethunathan N (1996) Nitrification of ammonium in different components of a flooded rice soil system. Biol Fertil Soils 23: 321–326Google Scholar
  2. Arth I & Frenzel P (2000) Nitrification and denitrification in the rhizosphere of rice: the detection of processes by a new multichannel electrode. Biol Fertil Soils 31: 427–435Google Scholar
  3. Aulakh MS, Wassmann R, Bueno C & Rennenberg H (2001) Impact of root exudates of different cultivars and plant development stages of rice (Oryza sativa L.) on methane production in a paddy soil. Plant Soil 230: 77–86Google Scholar
  4. Bartlett KB & Harriss RC (1993) Review and assessment of CH4 emissions from wetlands. Chemosphere 26: 211–230Google Scholar
  5. Bronson KF & Mosier AR (1991) Effect of encapsulated calcium carbide on dinitrogen, nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide emissions from flooded rice. Biol Fertil Soils 11: 116–120Google Scholar
  6. Buresh RJ, De Datta SK, Samson MI, Phongpan S, Snitwongse P, Fagi AM & Tejasarwana R (1991) Dinitrogen and nitrous oxide flux from urea basally applied to puddle rice soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 55: 268–273Google Scholar
  7. Cai ZC, Xing GX, Yan XY, Xu H, Tsuruta Haruo, Yagi K & Minami K (1997) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from rice paddy fields as affected by nitrogen fertilizers and water management. Plant Soil 196: 7–14Google Scholar
  8. Chen GX, Shang SH & Yu GW (1990) Preliminary studies on plant-mediated nitrous oxide flux. Chin J Appl Ecol 1: 94–96 (Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  9. Chen LJ, Shi Y, Li RH, Hu LS & Zhou LK (1995) Synergistic effect of urease inhibitor and nitrification inhibitor on urea-N transformation and N2O emission. Chin J Appl Ecol 6: 368–372 (Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  10. Chen X, Shen SM, Zhang L & Wu J (1997) Effect of nutritional condition on N2O emission by crop seedlings — a sand-liquid cross culture study. Chin J Appl Ecol 8: 177–180 (Chinese, abstract with English)Google Scholar
  11. Chidthaisong A & Watanabe I (1997) Methane formation and emission from flooded rice soil incorporated with 13C-labeled rice straw. Soil Biol Biochem 29: 1173–1181Google Scholar
  12. De Bont JAM, Lee KK & Bouldin DF (1978) Bacterial oxidation of methane in a rice paddy. Ecol Bull (stockh) 26: 91–96Google Scholar
  13. Granberg G, Mikkelä C, Sundh I, Svensson BH & Nilsson M (1997) Sources of spatial variation in methane emission from mires in northern Sweden — A mechanistic approach in statistical modeling. Global Biogeochem Cycles 11: 135–150Google Scholar
  14. Hütsch BW (1998) Methane oxidation in arable soil as inhibited by ammonium, nitrite, and organic manure with respect to soil pH. Biol Fertil Soils 28: 27–35Google Scholar
  15. IPCC Houghton JT, LG Meira Filho, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A & Maskell K, (eds) (1995) Climate Change. The Science of Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  16. Keeney DR & Nelson DW (1982) Nitrogen-inorganic forms. In: Page AL, Miller RH & Keeney DR (eds) Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 2. Chemical and Microbiological Properties, 2nd edn, America Society of Agronomy, Inc, Madison, WisconsinGoogle Scholar
  17. Keerthisinghe DG, Freney JR & Mosier AR (1993) Effect of wax-coated calcium carbide and nitrapyrin on nitrogen loss and methane emission from dry-seeded flooded rice. Soil Biol Biochem 16: 71–75Google Scholar
  18. Khalil MAK & Rasmussen RJ (1983) Sources, sinks and seasonal cycles of atmospheric methane. J Geophy Res 88: 5131–5144Google Scholar
  19. Kim HT (1995) Soil Sampling, Preparation and Analysis. Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York, Basel, Hong KongGoogle Scholar
  20. Kimura M, Murakami H & Wada H (1991) CO2, H2 and CH4production in rice rhizosphere. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 37: 55–60Google Scholar
  21. Klepper L (1990) Comparison between NOx evolution mechanisms of wild-type and mutant soybean leaves. Plant Physiol 93: 26–32Google Scholar
  22. Kumar U, Jain MC, Pathak H, Kumar S & Majumdar D (2000) Nitrous oxide emission from different fertilizers and its mitigation by nitrification inhibitors in irrigated rice. Biol Fertil Soils 32: 474–478Google Scholar
  23. Lindau CW, Bollich PK, DeLaune RD, Mosier AR & Bronson KF (1993) Methane mitigation in flooded Louisiana rice fields. Biol Fertil Soils 15: 174–178Google Scholar
  24. Majumdar D, Kumar S, Pathak H, Jain MC & Kumar U (2000) Reducing nitrous oxide emission from an irrigated rice field of North India with nitrification inhibitors. Agri Ecosys Environ 81: 163–169Google Scholar
  25. Mosier AR, Mohanty SK, Bhadrachalam A & Chakravorti SP (1990) Evolution of dinitrogen and nitrous oxide from the soil to the atmosphere through rice plants. Biol Fertil Soils 9: 61–67Google Scholar
  26. Mosier AR, Schimel D, Valentine D, Bronson K & Parton W (1991) Methane and nitrous oxide fluxes in native, fertilized and cultivated grassland. Nature 350: 330–332Google Scholar
  27. Rath AK, Swain B, Ramakrishnan B, Panda D, Adhya TK, Rao VR & Sethunathan N (1999) Influence of fertilizer management and water regime on methane emission from rice fields. Agri Ecosys Environ 76: 99–107Google Scholar
  28. Reddy KR, D'Angelo E, Lindau C & Patrick Jr WH (1990) Urea losses in flooded soils with extablished oxidized and reduced soil layers. Biol Fertil Soils 9: 282–287Google Scholar
  29. Rockel P, Rockel A & Wildt J (1996) Nitric oxide (NO) emission by higher plants. In: Van Cleemput O (ed) Progress in Nitrogen Cycling Studies pp 603–606. Kluwer Academic Publishers, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  30. Sing JP (1988) A rapid method for determination of nitrate in soil and plant extracts. Plant Soil 110: 137–139Google Scholar
  31. Smith CJ, Brandon M & Patrick Jr WH (1982) Nitrous oxide emission following urea-N fertilization of wetland rice. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 28: 161–171Google Scholar
  32. Wang MX (1999) Atmospheric Chemistry, 2nd edn. Meteorological Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  33. Wang ZP, Delaune RD, Lindau CW & Patrick Jr WH (1992) Methane production from anaerobic soil amended with rice straw and nitrogen fertilizers. Fert Res 33: 115–121Google Scholar
  34. Wassmann R & Aulakh MS (2000) The role of rice plants in regulating mechanisms of methane emissions. Biol Fertil Soils 31: 20–29Google Scholar
  35. Williams EJ, Hutchinson GL & Fehsenfeld FC (1992) NOx and N2O emissions from soil. Global Biogeochem Cycles 6: 351–388Google Scholar
  36. Xing GX & Zhu ZL (1997) Preliminary studies on N2O emission fluxes from upland soils and paddy soils in China. Nutr Cycling Agroecosys 49: 17–22Google Scholar
  37. Xu XK & Zhou LK (1999) Main factors influencing methane oxidation in soil and its control. Ecol Agric Stud 9: 14–21Google Scholar
  38. Xu XK, Huang Y, Zhou LK, Huang GH & Van Cleemput O (2001) Effect of dicyandiamide and hydroquinone on the transformation of urea-nitrogen-15 in soil cropped to wheat. Biol Fertil Soils 34: 286–290Google Scholar
  39. Xu XK, Wang YS, Zheng XH, Wang MX, Wang ZJ, Zhou LK & Van Cleemput O (2000a) Methane emission from a simulated rice field ecosystem as influenced by hydroquinone and dicyandiamide. Sci Total Environ 263: 243–253Google Scholar
  40. Xu XK, Zhou LK, Van Cleemput O & Wang ZJ (2000b) Fate of urea-15N in a soil-wheat system as influenced by urease inhibitor hydroquinone and nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide. Plant Soil 220: 261–270Google Scholar
  41. Yagi K & Minami K (1990) Effect of organic matter application on methane emission from some Japanese paddy soil. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 36: 599–610Google Scholar
  42. Zheng XY, Wang MX, Wang YS, Shen RX, Li J, Heyer J, Köge M, Papen H, Jin JS & Li LT. (1999) Characters of greenhouse gas (CH4, N2O, NO) emissions from croplands of southeast China. World Resource Review 11: 229–246Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xingkai Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pascal Boeckx
    • 2
  • Oswald Van Cleemput
    • 2
  • Likai Zhou
    • 3
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Applied Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological SciencesGhent UniversityGentBelgium
  3. 3.Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangChina

Personalised recommendations