Tillage and irrigation system effects on soil carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions in a maize monoculture under Mediterranean conditions
Cavero Campo, José
Arrúe, José Luis
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Irrigation as well as soil tillage management are considered two possible strategies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from the soil in Mediterranean agroecosystems. The objective of this work was to assess the impact of the irrigation system (i.e. flood, F; and sprinkler, S) and the soil tillage system (i.e. conventional tillage, CT; no-tillage maintaining the maize stover, NTr; and no-tillage removing the maize stover, NT) on CO2 and CH4 emissions from the soil during three growing seasons (2015, 2016 and 2017) and two fallow periods between growing seasons (15-16 fallow and 16-17 fallow) in a maize (Zea mays L.) monoculture system. Soil temperature and water-filled pore space (WFPS) had a great influence on daily soil CO2 fluxes but not on daily soil CH4 fluxes. Daily soil CO2 fluxes showed an increase with soil temperature in all tillage-irrigation treatments, especially when soil temperature was above 15ºC, in coincidence with the maize plant growth. In contrast, soil WFPS differently affected daily soil CO2 fluxes depending on the irrigation system. Under S irrigation, daily soil CO2 fluxes increased with soil WFPS, whereas under F irrigation a threshold value of 60% WFPS was found, with a positive or negative effect on CO2 fluxes for values below or above this threshold value, respectively. Over the three maize growing seasons, CT-S presented the greatest cumulative soil CO2 emissions with a seasonal average value of 3.28 Mg CO2-C ha-1. In contrast, for the same period, NTr-S cumulative soil CO2 emissions were up to 42% lower than the CT-S cumulative soil CO2 emissions. Cumulative CH4 emissions were only affected by soil tillage during the 16-17 fallow period, observing greater net CH4 uptake under NTr and NT compared with CT. This work highlights the importance of irrigation and soil tillage systems as key agricultural practices to minimize soil CO2 and CH4 emissions under Mediterranean conditions.
Is part ofSoil & Tillage Research, 2020, vol. 196, article num. 104488
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