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Irrigation and tillage effects on soil nitrous oxide emissions in maize monoculture

AuthorsFranco-Luesma, Samuel; Cavero Campo, José ; Plaza-Bonilla, Daniel ; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Tortosa Muñoz, Germán; Bedmar, Eulogio J.; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge
KeywordsNitrous Oxide Production
Nitrification inhibitor
Soil emission
Issue Date2020
PublisherAmerican Society of Agronomy
CitationAgronomy Journal 112: 56-71 (2020)
AbstractIrrigation and soil management can impact soil nitrous oxide (NO) emissions. Flood and sprinkler irrigation systems together with conventional tillage are the main practices used in the high yielding maize systems in Mediterranean Spain. The objective of this field work was to quantify the effect of the irrigation system (i.e., flood, F; and sprinkler, S) and the soil tillage system (i.e., conventional tillage, CT; no-tillage maintaining the maize stover, NTr; and no-tillage removing the maize stover, NT) on the NO emissions from the soil during 3 yr (2015, 2016, and 2017). S irrigation, with mean values of 1.35 kg NO-N ha yr throughout the 3 yr, obtained 42% lower NO emissions than F irrigation. On average of the three growing seasons, yield-scaled NO emissions by grain yield and by grain N uptake in F irrigation were two-fold higher than in S irrigation. Moreover, in one out of three growing seasons (2017), no-tillage systems (i.e., NTr and NT) showed greater yield-scaled NO emissions compared with CT. The higher maize grain yield with the S irrigation compared to F irrigation, as well as the lower NO emissions reported under S irrigation resulted in the reduction of the yield-scaled NO emissions. Our findings highlight the role of sprinkler irrigation decreasing NO emissions in comparison to flood irrigation in Mediterranean agroecosystems.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1002/agj2.20057
issn: 1435-0645
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