Improved prediction of farm nitrous oxide emission through an understanding of the interaction among climate extremes, soil nitrogen dynamics and irrigation water

Maraseni, Tek and Kodur, Shreevatsa (2019) Improved prediction of farm nitrous oxide emission through an understanding of the interaction among climate extremes, soil nitrogen dynamics and irrigation water. Journal of Environmental Management, 248:109278. pp. 1-7. ISSN 0301-4797


Abstract

Reducing nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agriculture soils is crucial, as it accounts for 5.6-6.8% of global anthropogenic emissions. This study aims to understand the interaction among climate, soil nitrogen (N) and applied N on N2O emissions from the irrigated cotton farming system and its implications on farm economics. We conducted simulations for 116 years (1900-2015) and assessed the effect of different N-fertiliser application rates, initial soil nitrate (NO3) N levels and rainfall conditions on N2O emissions, N2O emission factors (EFs) and financial returns (with and without N2O costs). Results showed the following. 1) The proportional impact of higher N fertiliser rates on soil N2O emissions was greater when initial soil N level was lower (5 mg NO3 kg(-1)) than higher (35 mg NO3 kg(-1)). However, the volume of impact was greater under higher initial soil N levels. 2) The relationship between N fertiliser rates and the EFs (range 0.03-7.2%) was not linear but bell-shaped. 3) Fertiliser N requirements increased with rainfall and decreased with initial soil N. Accordingly, the cotton returns for the driest rainfall condition ( < 10th percentile) were maximum at 300, 250 and 150 kg N ha(-1) for initial soil N of 5, 20 and 35 mg NO3 kg(-1). For the wettest rainfall condition ( > 90th percentile), these rates were 50 kg ha(-1) higher across the initial soil N conditions. Any additional application of N-fertiliser above these rates was counterproductive. 4) Inclusion of N2O cost into farm economics reduced the annual returns by up to $39 ha(-1), but the optimal fertiliser application rates remain the same. 5) Optimising N fertiliser rates to soil N and rainfall conditions increased the annual returns by up to $303 ha(-1), with a further increase of $15 ha(-1) from fertiliser use efficiency when the Australian Government incentives under the $2.55 billion dollar Emission Reduction Fund program was considered. These findings suggest that N-fertiliser application rates and N2O emission mitigation strategies need further refinements specific to prevailing soil and climate variabilities.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 00:22
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2021 04:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: cotton, nitrous oxide, emissions factor, emissions reduction fund, profit maximisation
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070399 Crop and Pasture Production not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109278
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37255

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