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Stimulation of N2O emission by conservation tillage management in agricultural lands: A meta-analysis

  • Author(s): Mei, K
  • Wang, Z
  • Huang, H
  • Zhang, C
  • Shang, X
  • Dahlgren, RA
  • Zhang, M
  • Xia, F
  • et al.

Conservation tillage has been widely adopted in agricultural lands worldwide and is considered a potential strategy for climate change mitigation through enhanced carbon sequestration. However, conservation tillage may alter soil N O emissions, which may diminish the potential climate change mitigation benefits. Based on 212 observations from 40 publications, a meta-analysis was conducted to quantitatively assess the effects of climate regimes, initial soil properties, and type/duration of agricultural practices on soil N O emission following application of conservation tillage. Overall, conservation tillage significantly increased soil N O emission by 17.8% compared to conventional tillage. The greatest increase in N O emission was observed from soils in tropical climates (70.1%) experiencing short-term (29.3%) application of conservation tillage. Soil pH and clay content significantly influenced N O emission, while overall soil texture and soil organic carbon (SOC) were not effective predictors of soil N O emission following conservation tillage. According to the categorical meta-analysis, agricultural practices, including water, residue, and rotation managements and crop types, significantly affected soil N O emission following conservation tillage. Conservation tillage induced N O emissions were mitigated with rain-fed cropping systems, residue removal, crop rotation and cultivation of beans and some vegetables. Significant categorical variables affecting N O emission were mainly attributed to soil aeration and substrate availability, which were important factors affecting nitrification and denitrification processes. Overall, the conservation tillage induced N O emission factor (EF ) increased by 0.40%, suggesting an attenuation of climate change benefits from increased N O emission. Our meta-analysis provides a scientific basis for assessing the effects of conservation tillage on N O emissions and provides site-specific information to mitigate N O emissions associated with conservation tillage practices. 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 ad 2 2 2

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