N2O emission and CH4 uptake in arable fields managed under conventional and reduced tillage cropping systems in northern Japan

Authors

  • Nobuhisa Koga,

    1. Crop Production Research Team, Department of Upland Agriculture Research, National Agricultural Research Center for Hokkaido Region (NARCH), Kasai, Hokkaido, Japan
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  • Haruo Tsuruta,

    1. Greenhouse Gas Emission Team, Department of Global Resources, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
    2. Now at Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
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  • Takuji Sawamoto,

    1. Greenhouse Gas Emission Team, Department of Global Resources, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
    2. Now at Faculty of Dairy Science, Rakuno Gakuen University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido, Japan.
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  • Seiichi Nishimura,

    1. Greenhouse Gas Emission Team, Department of Global Resources, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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  • Kazuyuki Yagi

    1. Greenhouse Gas Emission Team, Department of Global Resources, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
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Abstract

[1] Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and methane (CH4) uptake were measured in an experimental long-term tillage field (Andosol) in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to assess their contributions to net global warming, associated with arable crop production. From May 2001 to August 2002, the field was cultivated with winter wheat, adzuki bean, sugar beet, potato, and cabbage, where the total N applied was 110, 40, 150, 60, and 220 kg N ha−1 yr−1, respectively. Under conventional tillage (CT) cropping systems, basal N fertilization and plowing for residue incorporation had little effect on N2O fluxes, but vigorous N2O emission was observed when rotary harrowing was used for incorporating N-rich cabbage residues into soil in summer. Also, high N2O emissions occurred when there was heavy rainfall after a large amount of N fertilizer had been applied to sugar beet and also when there was thawing of frozen soil and snow in the winter wheat treatment. Despite the differing N2O flux patterns among the crops, the annual N2O emissions from each crop were positively correlated with the total N applied as fertilizer. Under CT systems, across all five crops, the mean N2O emission factor (the percent ratio of N2O-N emitted out of total N applied as fertilizer) was 0.36%. Under reduced tillage (RT) cropping systems, where crop residues were left on the ground over winter, large quantities of N2O were emitted from adzuki bean and sugar beet residues when the frozen soil and snow thawed. Therefore, total N2O emissions from adzuki bean and sugar beet cultivated under RT systems were much greater than under CT systems. The rates of CH4 uptake by arable soils were less sensitive to crop type, field management practices, and fertilizer application rates, but the rates were strongly influenced by long-term tillage management. For fallow, winter wheat, adzuki bean, and sugar beet treatments, the CH4 uptake rates in the CT soils (1.36 kg CH4 ha−1 yr−1), which had a 20-year history of intensive plowing, were lower than those in the RT soils (2.40 kg CH4 ha−1 yr−1). Thus RT production systems improved CH4 uptake by arable soils, although they adversely affected N2O emissions for adzuki bean and sugar beet production.

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