Special Issue "Strategies for Nitrous Oxide Emission Mitigation in Agrosystems"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecosystem, Environment and Climate Change in Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Catherine Hénault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Agroécologie, AgroSup Dijon, INRA, Université de Bourgogne, Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 21000 Dijon, France
Interests: denitrification; nitrogen; greenhouse gases; soil analysis; sustainable agriculture

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The objectives of the Paris Agreement require the rapid reduction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful GHG estimated to account for 6% of the change in radiative forcing since 1750. This gas is now also considered as the major ozone-depleting substance in the atmosphere. Agriculture, through soil emissions, is the main anthropogenic source of N2O. Soils can act both as a source and a sink of N2O. However, on the global scale, the activity of soil as a source largely dominates its activity as a sink. The production and consumption of N2O in soils mainly involve biotic processes such as denitrification and nitrification, and depend on multiple factors.

While different strategies to decrease N2O emissions from agricultural soils have been identified, for example (i) increasing N use efficiency concomitantly with lowering total N input, and/or (ii) decreasing the release of N2O per unit of nitrogen from nitrification and denitrifcation, etc., technical options remain to be specified at the operational scale. Moreover, the adoption of the mitigation options proposed also requires multi-GHG and multi-disciplinary approaches to take into account the different services of soils and the possible socioeconomic barriers.

Therefore, we would like to invite researchers from a large number of regions and countries to submit papers presenting options for mitigating soil N2O emissions, based either on biotechnical or multidisciplinary research, for publication in this Special Issue. All types of articles, such as original research, opinions, and reviews, either mono or multidisciplinary, are welcome.

Dr. Catherine Hénault
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nitrous oxide
  • Soils
  • Nitrogen
  • Microbial processes
  • Mitigation options
  • Ecosystemic services
  • Biotechnical options
  • Multidisciplinary approaches

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Ammonium Fertilizer Reduces Nitrous Oxide Emission Compared to Nitrate Fertilizer While Yielding Equally in a Temperate Grassland
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111141 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 427
Abstract
Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, are a challenge associated with application of nitrogen (N) fertilizers to soil. However, N source selection can play a role in reducing these emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions were measured from ammonium (ammonium [...] Read more.
Emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, are a challenge associated with application of nitrogen (N) fertilizers to soil. However, N source selection can play a role in reducing these emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions were measured from ammonium (ammonium sulfate) and nitrate (calcium nitrate) fertilizers over one year in temperate grassland using the closed static chamber method. Nitrogen was applied at a system representative rate of 220 kg ha−1 y−1 in six split applications. Cumulative annual N2O-N emissions were 0.29 kg ha−1 for the control, 1.07 kg ha−1 for the ammonium fertilizer and significantly higher at 2.54 kg ha−1 for the nitrate fertilizer. The annual emission factor (EF) for the ammonium fertilizer was 0.35% vs 1.02% for the nitrate fertilizer, a 66% reduction in the EF for ammonium vs nitrate and a 2.9 times higher EF for nitrate compared with ammonium. No difference in grass yield or N uptake was detected between fertilizers. This study shows that an ammonium fertilizer produces the same yield and N efficiency as a nitrate fertilizer with lower N2O emissions. The results also demonstrate that the nitrate portion of fertilizers is a key factor in N2O emissions in temperate grassland. This work is the first of its kind detailing the annual EF of both a solely ammonium-N and a solely nitrate-N fertilizer we could find. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Nitrous Oxide Emission Mitigation in Agrosystems)
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Article
The Influence of Grain Legume and Tillage Strategies on CO2 and N2O Gas Exchange under Varied Environmental Conditions
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 464; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11050464 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 670
Abstract
By this in vitro study addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soil-plant mesocosms, we suggest a method to investigate the joint effects of environmental conditions, growth of plants, and agricultural soil management. Soils from two long-term agricultural trials in France were placed in [...] Read more.
By this in vitro study addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soil-plant mesocosms, we suggest a method to investigate the joint effects of environmental conditions, growth of plants, and agricultural soil management. Soils from two long-term agricultural trials in France were placed in climate chambers. The rotation trial was with or without grain legumes, and the tillage trial used plowing or reduced tillage. Environmental conditions consisted of two contrasting temperature regimes combined with ambient (400 ppm) or high (700 ppm) CO2 concentrations in climate chambers. The plant growth went from seeding to vegetative growth. Carbon dioxide gas exchange measurements were conducted in both soil types for a period representing initial plant growth. The CO2 exchange was influenced by the growing plants increasing the mesocosm respiration and gross ecosystem production. The environmental settings had no noticeable impact on the CO2 exchange in the soils from the legume trial. The CO2 exchange from the tillage trial soils exhibited variations induced by the environmental conditions depending on the tillage treatment. The N2O emission measurements in the legume trial soils showed little variability based on rotation, however, in soils with legumes, indications that higher temperatures will lead to more N2O emission were seen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Nitrous Oxide Emission Mitigation in Agrosystems)
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Article
Irrigation Scheduling with Soil Gas Diffusivity as a Decision Tool to Mitigate N2O Emissions from a Urine-Affected Pasture
Agriculture 2021, 11(5), 443; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11050443 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 656
Abstract
Pastures require year-round access to water and in some locations rely on irrigation during dry periods. Currently, there is a dearth of knowledge about the potential for using irrigation to mitigate N2O emissions. This study aimed to mitigate N2O [...] Read more.
Pastures require year-round access to water and in some locations rely on irrigation during dry periods. Currently, there is a dearth of knowledge about the potential for using irrigation to mitigate N2O emissions. This study aimed to mitigate N2O losses from intensely managed pastures by adjusting irrigation frequency using soil gas diffusivity (Dp/Do) thresholds. Two irrigation regimes were compared; a standard irrigation treatment based on farmer practice (15 mm applied every 3 days) versus an optimised irrigation treatment where irrigation was applied when soil Dp/Do was ≈0.033 (equivalent to 50% of plant available water). Cow urine was applied at a rate of 700 kg N ha−1 to simulate a ruminant urine deposition event. In addition to N2O fluxes, soil moisture content was monitored hourly, Dp/Do was modelled, and pasture dry matter production was measured. Standard irrigation practices resulted in higher (p = 0.09) cumulative N2O emissions than the optimised irrigation treatment. Pasture growth rates under treatments did not differ. Denitrification during re-wetting events (irrigation and rain) contributed to soil N2O emissions. These results warrant further modelling of irrigation management as a mitigation option for N2O emissions from pasture soils, based on Dp/Do thresholds, rainfall, plant water demands and evapotranspiration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Nitrous Oxide Emission Mitigation in Agrosystems)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The influence of grain legume and tillage strategies on CO2 and N2O gas exchange under varied environmental conditions
Authors: Emilie Marie Øst Hansen; Henrik Hauggaard-Nielsen; Eric Justes; Per Ambus; Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen
Affiliation: Roskilde University, Department of People and Technology, Denmark CIRAD, Persyst Department, Bat. 10, Avenue Agropolis, Montpellier, France Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Technical University of Denmark, Department of Environmental Engineering, Denmark
Abstract: Changes in atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation occurs and it is critical to investigate agricultural soil managements best suited to face these changes. We present work in vitro with mesocoms collected in two soil management experiments in France. One set managed with either grain legume + cover crops or no grain legumes + bare fallow. The other with either plowed or reduced tillage soils. In climate chambers, gas exchange (CO2, N2O) was conducted under different environmental conditions combined with contrasting barley management. The gas exchange was influenced by time and environmental settings, and to a smaller degree management history, with highly variable emissions of N2O. Nevertheless, the environmental treatments induced different patterns of effect depending on the management history of the soils. The gas exchange from the soil rotation treatment with grain legume was more responsive to the environmental treatments than the rotation without grain legumes. Depending on the history of plowing or reduced tillage, the gas exchange from the soil tillage managements responded likewise differently to the induced environment.

Title: Effect of irrigation scheduling, using soil gas diffusivity as a decision tool to mitigate N2O emissions from a urine-affected pasture
Authors: Camille Rousset, Timothy J. Clough, Peter R. Grace, David W. Rowlings, Clemens Scheer
Affiliation: Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Lincoln University, PO Box 85084, Lincoln, 7647, New Zealand Queensland University of Technology, Institute for Future Environment, 2 George Street, Brisbane, Queensland, 4000, Australia Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Department Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), KIT-Campus Alpin, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Abstract: Often posited as the main limiting factor for plant growth, water is also indirectly responsible for soil N2O emissions. Pastures require year-round access to water and in some location rely on irrigation during dry periods. Currently, there is a dearth of knowledge about the potential for using irrigation to mitigate N2O emissions. This study aimed to mitigate N2O losses from intensely managed pastures by adjusting irrigation frequency using soil gas diffusivity (Dp/Do) thresholds. This was investigated using automatic chambers in a field where perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) pasture was predominant. Two irrigation regimes were compared; a standard irrigation treatment based on routine farmer practice (15 mm applied every 3 days) versus an optimised irrigation treatment where irrigation was applied when soil Dp/Do was ≈ 0.033 (equivalent to 50% of plant available water). Cow urine was applied at a rate of 700 kg N ha-1 to simulate a ruminant urine deposition event. In addition to N2O fluxes, soil moisture content was monitored automatically every hour, Dp/Do was modelled, and pasture dry matter production was measured. During the irrigation period, standard irrigation practices resulted in higher (P = 0.09) cumulative N2O emissions than the optimised irrigation treatment. Pasture growth rates under both irrigation and urine treatments did not differ. Denitrification during re-wetting events (irrigation and rain) contributed to soil N2O emissions. These results warrant further modelling of irrigation management as a mitigation option for N2O emissions from pasture soils, based on Dp/Do thresholds, rainfall, plant water demands and evapotranspiration.

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