No-tillage reduces long-term yield-scaled soil nitrous oxide emissions in rainfed Mediterranean agroecosystems: a field and modelling approach
Bareche Sahún, Javier
Pareja Sánchez, Evangelina
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There is a strong need to identify agricultural management practices that maintain agronomic productivity while diminishing soil N2O emissions. The yield-scaled N2O emissions (YSNE) indicator can help to evaluate the adequacy of a given agricultural practice under both aspects. Long-term (18-yr) soil water and mineral N dynamics, crop biomass and yields, and 2011-2012 soil N2O emissions and ancillary variables were measured on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) production in a tillage (conventional tillage, CT; no-tillage, NT) and N rate (0, 60 and 120 kg N ha-1) combination under rainfed Mediterranean conditions (NE Spain). Once evaluated, the STICS soil-crop model was used to simulate the 18-yr soil N2O emissions of each tillage system under increasing N rates (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 kg N ha-1) in order to identify optimum management to reduce YSNE, being initialized with observed data. Cropping season precipitation was highly variable during the experiment, being a key regulating mechanism for crop yields and simulated soil N2O emissions. Crop yield under NT with N outperformed CT in 11 years. STICS performed reasonably well when simulating cumulative N2O emissions and ancillary variables with model efficiencies greater than 0.5. The 18-yr average simulated cumulative N2O emissions were 0.50, 0.82 and 1.09 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for CT-0, CT-60 and CT-120, respectively, and they were 0.53, 0.92 and 1.19 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1 for their counterparts under NT. These averages mask a large variability between years, according to precipitation. The 18-yr mean yield-scaled N2O emissions were 2.8 to 3.3 times lower under NT, compared to the corresponding CT treatments. Under CT, N application would increase YSNE in most years while YSNE would be more resilient to the application of increasing N rates under NT. Our work demonstrates that in rainfed Mediterranean systems NT is a win-win strategy for the equilibrium between agricultural productivity and low soil N2O emissions.
Is part ofAgriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 2018, vol. 262, p. 36-47
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Plaza Bonilla, Daniel; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge; Bareche Sahún, Javier; Pareja Sánchez, Evangelina; Justes, Éric; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos (SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol, 2019-01-10)Most emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) are linked to the use of nitrogen (N) fertiliser in agriculture, highlighting a need for agricultural management practices that reduce emissions while maintaining agronomic productivity. ...
Is it feasible to reduce tillage and N use while improving maize yield in irrigated Mediterranean agroecosystems? Pareja Sánchez, Evangelina; Plaza Bonilla, Daniel; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos (Elsevier B.V., 2019-05-31)Mediterranean rainfed areas are transformed into irrigation to stabilize or increase crop yields. The gradual occupation of irrigation leads to an increase in nitrogen use and intensity of tillage. The aim of this work was ...
Impact of tillage and N fertilization rate on soil N2O emissions in irrigated maize in a Mediterranean agroecosystem Pareja Sánchez, Evangelina; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Álvaro-Fuentes, Jorge; Plaza Bonilla, Daniel (Elsevier, 2019-09-17)In irrigated Mediterranean conditions there is a lack of knowledge about the best combination of tillage and N fertilization practices to reduce soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions while maintaining maize productivity. The ...