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Differential immediate and long-term effects of nitrogen input on denitrification N2O/(N2O +N2) ratio along a 0–5.2 m soil profile

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posted on 2023-06-09, 04:06 authored by Haijing Yuan, Xinhua He, Jiafa LuoJiafa Luo, Chunsheng Hu, Xiaoxin Li, Stuart LindseyStuart Lindsey

High nitrogen (N) input to soil can cause higher nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, that is, a higher N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio, through an inhibition of N2O reductase activity and/or a decrease in soil pH. We assumed that there were two mechanisms for the effects of N input on N2O emissions, immediate and long-term effect. The immediate effect (field applied fertilizer N) can be eliminated by decreasing the N input, but not the long-term effect (soil accumulated N caused by long–term fertilization). Therefore, it is important to separate these effects to mitigate N2O emissions. To this end, soil samples along a 0–5.2 m profile were collected from a long-term N fertilization experiment field with two N application rates, that is, 600 kg N ha-1 year-1 (N600) and no fertilizer N input (N0). External N addition was conducted for each subsample in the laboratory incubation study to produce two additional treatments, which were denoted as N600+N and N0+N treatments. The results showed that the combined immediate and long-term effects led to an increase in the N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio by 6.8%. Approximately 32.6% and 67.4% of increase could be explained by the immediate and long-term effects of N input, respectively. Meanwhile, the long-term effects were significantly positively correlated to soil organic carbon (SOC). These results indicate that excessive N fertilizer input to the soil can lead to increased N2O emissions if the soil has a high SOC content. The long-term effect of N input on the N2O/(N2O+N2) ratio should be considered when predicting soil N2O emissions under global environmental change scenarios. 

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Rights statement

© 2022 Yuan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Publication date

2022-10-31

Project number

  • Non revenue

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

PLoS

Journal title

PLoS ONE

ISSN

1932-6203

Volume/issue number

17(10)

Page numbers

e0276891

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