Advertisement

Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 195–199 | Cite as

Effects of various nitrogen fertilizers on emission of nitrous oxide from soils

  • G. A. Breitenbeck
  • J. M. Bremner
Article

Summary

Field studies of the effects of different N fertilizers on emission of nitrous oxide (N20) from three Iowa soils showed that the N2O emissions induced by application of 180 kg ha−1 fertilizer N as anhydrous ammonia greatly exceeded those induced by application of the same amount of fertilizer N as aqueous ammonia or urea. On average, the emission of N2O-N induced by anhydrous ammonia was more than 13 times that induced by aqueous ammonia or urea and represented 1.2% of the anhydrous ammonia N applied. Experiments with one soil showed that the N2O emission induced by anhydrous ammonia was more than 17 times that induced by the same amount of N as calcium nitrate. These findings confirm indications from previous work that anhydrous ammonia has a much greater effect on emission of N2O from soils than do other commonly used N fertilizers and merits special attention in research relating to the potential adverse climatic effect of N fertilization of soils.

Laboratory studies of the effect of different amounts of NH4OH on emission of N2O from Webster soil showed that the emission of N2O-N induced by addition of 100 μg NH4OH-N g−1 soil represented only 0.18% of the N applied, whereas the emissions induced by additions of 500 and 1 000 μg NH4OH-N g−1 soil represented 1.15% and 1.19%, respectively, of the N applied. This suggests that the exceptionally large emissions of N2O induced by anhydrous ammonia fertilization are due, at least in part, to the fact that the customary method of applying this fertilizer by injection into soil produces highly alkaline soil zones of high ammonium-N concentration that do not occur when urea or aqueous ammonia fertilizers are broadcast and incorporated into soil.

Key words

Fertilizer N Nitrification Denitrification N2O emission Anhydrous ammonia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blackmer AM, Bremner JM (1977) Gas chromatographic analysis of soil atmospheres. Soil Sci Soc Am J 41:908–912Google Scholar
  2. Blackmer AM, Robbins SG, Bremner JM (1982) Diurnal variability in rate of emission of nitrous oxide from soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 46:937–942Google Scholar
  3. Breitenbeck GA, Blackmer AM, Bremner JM (1980) Effects of different nitrogen fertilizers on emission of nitrous oxide from soil. Geophys Res Lett 7:85–88Google Scholar
  4. Bremner JM, Blackmer AM (1980) Mechanisms of nitrous oxide production in soils. In: Trudinger PA, Walter MR, Ralph BJ (eds) Biogeochemistry of ancient and modern environments. Australian Academy of Science, Canberra, Australia, pp 279–291Google Scholar
  5. Bremner JM, Breitenbeck GA, Blackmer AM (1981a) Effect of anhydrous ammonia fertilization on emission of nitrous oxide from soils. J Environ Qual 10:77–80Google Scholar
  6. Bremner JM, Breitenbeck GA, Blackmer AM (1981b) Effect of nitrapyrin on emission of nitrous oxide from soil fertilized with anhydrous ammonia. Geophys Res Lett 8:353–356Google Scholar
  7. Chalk PM, Keeney DR, Walsh LM (1975) Crop recovery and nitrification of fall and spring applied anhydrous ammonia. Agron J 67:33–37Google Scholar
  8. Conrad R, Seiler W (1980) Field measurements of the loss of fertilizer nitrogen into the atmosphere as nitrous oxide. Atmos Environ 14:555–558Google Scholar
  9. Conrad R, Seiler W, Bunse G (1983) Factors influencing the loss of fertilizer nitrogen into the atmosphere as N2O. J Geophys Res 88:6709–6718Google Scholar
  10. Crutzen PJ, Ehhalt DH (1977) Effects of nitrogen fertilizers and combustion on the stratospheric ozone layer. Ambio 6:112–117Google Scholar
  11. Hogg TJ, Henry JL (1982) The ammonia content in soils following field application of anhydrous ammonia. Can J Soil Sci 62:213–216Google Scholar
  12. Joyce C (1985) Trace gases amplify greenhouse effect. New Sci 1456:3–4Google Scholar
  13. Matthias AD, Blackmer AM, Bremner JM (1980) A simple chamber technique for field measurements of emissions of nitrous oxide from soils. J Environ Qual 9:251–265Google Scholar
  14. McElroy MB, Wofsy SC, Yung YL (1977) The nitrogen cycle: Perturbations due to man and their impact on atmospheric N2O and O3. Phil Trans R Soc 277B:159–181Google Scholar
  15. McKenney DJ, Shuttleworth KF, Findlay WI (1978) Rates of N2O evolution from N-fertilized soils. Geophys Res Lett 5:777–780Google Scholar
  16. McKenney DJ, Shuttleworth KF, Findlay WI (1980a) Nitrous oxide evolution rates from fertilized soil: Effects of applied nitrogen. Can J Soil Sci 60:429–438Google Scholar
  17. McKenney DJ, Shuttleworth KF, Findlay WI (1980b) Temperature dependence of nitrous oxide production from Brookston clay. Can J Soil Sci 60:665–674Google Scholar
  18. Peters DB (1965) Water availability. In: C.A. Black (ed.) Methods of soil analysis. Part 1. Physical and mineralogical properties including statistics of measurement and sampling. Am Soc Agron, Madison, WI Agronomy 9:279–285Google Scholar
  19. Weiss RF (1981) The temporal and spatial distribution of tropospheric nitrous oxide. J Geophys Res 86:7185–7195Google Scholar
  20. Whitehouse MJ, Leslie JK (1973) Movement, pH effect and nitrification of band-applied anhydrous ammonia, urea and sulfate of ammonia in an alkaline black earth. Queensland J Agric Sci 30:301–310Google Scholar
  21. Witten RC, Borucki WJ, Woodward HT, Capone LA, Riegel CA (1983) Revised predictions of the effect on stratospheric ozone of increasing atmospheric N2O and chlorofluoromethanes: a two-dimensional model study. Atmosph Environ 17:1995–2000Google Scholar
  22. Yung YL, Wang WC, Lacis AA (1976) Greenhouse effect due to atmospheric nitrous oxide. Geophys Res Lett 10:619–621Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. A. Breitenbeck
    • 1
  • J. M. Bremner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

Personalised recommendations