• chemical fertilizer;
  • crop residue;
  • emission factor;
  • nitrous oxide;
  • organic fertilizer


Variability in the emission factors of nitrous oxide (N2O) associated with the application of chemical fertilizer (EFF) and organic matter (EFO) were analyzed in two onion fields (GL, Gray Lowland soil [Gleysol; Food and Agriculture Organization/UNESCO]; BL, Brown Lowland soil [Fluvisol; Food and Agriculture Organization/UNESCO]) in Mikasa, Hokkaido, Japan. Nitrous oxide flux was measured using a closed chamber technique in four treatments (FOP, chemical nitrogen fertilization and organic matter application, with plants; F, chemical nitrogen fertilization only, without plants; OP, organic matter application only, with plants; C, control, no fertilization or organic matter application, without plants) for 4 years in GL (2000, 2003–2005) and for 1 year in BL (2005). The application rate of chemical fertilizer nitrogen ranged from 237 to 242 kg N ha−1 year−1 in GL and was 284 kg N ha−1 year−1 in BL; organic matter nitrogen ranged from 81 to 117 kg N ha−1 year−1 in GL and was 181 kg N ha−1 year−1 in BL. The emission factors (EF) were calculated using the equations: EFF (%) = (N2O emission in FOP–N2O emission in OP)/(applied chemical nitrogen fertilizer) × 100 and EFO (%) = (N2O emission in FOP–N2O emission in F)/(applied organic matter nitrogen) × 100. The annual N2O emissions for treatments FOP, F, OP and C were 7.2–17, 5.7–17, 3.2–9.9 and 2.0–12 kg N ha−1 year−1, respectively, in GL and 5.6, 2.8, 1.9 and 1.8 kg N ha−1 year−1, respectively, in BL. The EFF ranged from 1.3% to 5.5% in GL and was 1.3% in BL. The EFF was positively correlated with the mean annual air temperature (P < 0.01), suggesting that N2O emission derived from chemical nitrogen fertilizer increases as air temperature rises. The EFO, however, differed greatly between GL (ranging from −5.2% to 9.1%) and BL (1.5%). The EFO was positively correlated with the mean annual relative humidity, although the correlation was not significant (P = 0.23). This finding suggests that much wetter climatic conditions may increase N2O emissions derived from organic matter nitrogen. The estimated N2O emissions based on these EF values and the rate of nitrogen application coincided well with the measured N2O emissions in the FOP treatment in both soils.