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No-tillage reduces long-term yield-scaled soil nitrous oxide emissions in rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems: A field and modelling approach

AuthorsPlaza-Bonilla, Daniel ; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge ; Bareche, Javier; Pareja-Sánchez, Evangelina; Justes, Eric; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos
KeywordsEmission factor
N fertilization
nitrous oxide
rainfed cropping 21 systems
soil management
STICS model
Issue DateJul-2018
CitationPlaza-BonillaD, Álvaro-Fuentes J, Bareche J, Pareja-Sánchez E, Justes E, Cantero-Martínez C. No-tillage reduces long-term yield-scaled soil nitrous oxide emissions in rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems: A field and modelling approach. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 262: 36-47 (2018)
AbstractThere is a strong need to identify agricultural management practices that maintain agronomic productivity while diminishing soil N2O emissions. The yield-scaled N2O emissions (YSNE) indicator can help to evaluate the adequacy of a given agricultural practice under both aspects. Long-term (18-yr) soil water and mineral N dynamics, crop biomass and yields, and 2011–2012 soil N2O emissions and ancillary variables were measured on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in a tillage (conventional tillage, CT; no-tillage, NT) and N rate (0, 60 and 120 kg N ha−1) combination under rainfed Mediterranean conditions (NE Spain). Once evaluated, the STICS soil-crop model was used to simulate the 18-yr soil N2O emissions of each tillage system under increasing N rates (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg N ha−1) in order to identify optimum management to reduce YSNE, being initialized with observed data. Cropping season precipitation was highly variable during the experiment, being a key regulating mechanism for crop yields and simulated soil N2O emissions. Crop yield under NT with N outperformed CT in 11 years. STICS performed reasonably well when simulating cumulative N2O emissions and ancillary variables with model efficiencies greater than 0.5. The 18-yr average simulated cumulative N2O emissions were 0.50, 0.82 and 1.09 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1 for CT-0, CT-60 and CT-120, respectively, and they were 0.53, 0.92 and 1.19 kg N2O-N ha−1 yr−1 for their counterparts under NT. These averages mask a large variability between years, according to precipitation. The 18-yr mean yield-scaled N2O emissions were 2.8–3.3 times lower under NT, compared to the corresponding CT treatments. Under CT, N application would increase YSNE in most years while YSNE would be more resilient to the application of increasing N rates under NT. Our work demonstrates that in rainfed Mediterranean systems NT is a win-win strategy for the equilibrium between agricultural productivity and low soil N2O emissions.
Description47 Pags.- 4 Tabls- 5 Figs. The definitive version is available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01678809
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2018.04.007
Appears in Collections:(EEAD) Artículos
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