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Soil pH-increase strongly mitigated N2O emissions following ploughing of grass and clover swards in autumn: A winter field study

Bleken, M.A. and Rittl, T. F. (2022) Soil pH-increase strongly mitigated N2O emissions following ploughing of grass and clover swards in autumn: A winter field study. Science of the Total Environment journal, 828, p. 154059.

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0048969722011512-main (1).pdf] PDF - Accepted Version - English
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Emissions from crop residues contribute largely to the total estimated N2O emissions from agriculture. Since low soil pH increases N2O production by impairing the last denitrification step, liming has been suggested as a mitigation strat- egy; however, it may also increase N2O emissions by enhancing mineralization and nitrification. To gain field-based empirical knowledge, we measured N2O fluxes with an autonomous field-flux robot in limed and control plots before and after autumn ploughing of 3-year-old grass, clover grass or red clover swards under different N fertilization re- gimes. Dolomite applied before establishing the swards raised soil pHCaCl2 from ~4.8 to ~5.8 in limed plots. Higher pH halved emissions from ploughed leys despite higher soil mineral N contents. It also reduced emissions be- fore ploughing. We observed substantial N2O fluxes after ploughing, with peaks during a relatively warm wet period after freezing and higher peaks during diurnal snowmelt over frozen soil. Average N2Ofluxes were strongly positively correlated with high herbage yields in the preceding growing seasons rather than with the presence of clover. The yield-scaled average N2O fluxes were strongest in low pH soils at all yield levels; this was a true effect of soil pH on N2O, as herbage yields were not increased by liming. Here, yield-scaled flux was defined as the average N2O flux after ploughing divided by the dry matter. Fluxes in red clover plots were similar to those in grass plots, despite the lower C/N ratio and higher total amount of N in clover residues. However, clover in mixtures with grass increased yields and N2O emissions. This suggests that higher ley production enhanced microbial activity, including nitrifiers and denitrifiers, and that the pH effect on facilitating complete denitrification to N2 overrode any effect on minerali- zation and nitrification, thus resulting in N2Omitigation.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Plant residue, Snow melting, GHG, Denitrification, Liming, Grassland, nitrogen
Agrovoc keywords:
plant residues -> crop residues
nitrous oxide
greenhouse gases
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Research affiliation: Norway > NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Norway > NORSØK - Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture
H2020 or FP7 Grant Agreement Number:696356
Deposited By: F Rittl, Tatiana
ID Code:43895
Deposited On:28 Mar 2022 06:17
Last Modified:28 Mar 2022 06:17
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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