Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 173–191 | Cite as

N2O emissions from a loamy soil cropped with winter wheat as affected by N-fertilizer amount and nitrification inhibitor

  • Ivan Guzman-BustamanteEmail author
  • Thomas Winkler
  • Rudolf Schulz
  • Torsten Müller
  • Thomas Mannheim
  • Juan Carlos Laso Bayas
  • Reiner Ruser
Original Article


Nitrogen (N) fertilization leads to the release of reactive N species, which can be detrimental to the environment. Nitrification inhibitors (NIs) are substances capable of retarding the oxidation of ammonium to nitrate, which can increase N use efficiency of applied N fertilizer and decrease N losses such as the release of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Adaption of N fertilizer amount to plant demand might also decrease N surpluses and thus lower N2O emissions. We investigated the effects of N fertilizer amount (0, 120, 180, and 240 kg N ha−1 a−1) and the use of the NI 3,4-dimethylpyrazol phosphate, DMPP, on annual N2O emission from a soil cropped with winter wheat in a 2 year field experiment. N2O fluxes were affected by N level and by use of DMPP with higher fluxes under high N amounts and treatments without NI. Application of DMPP led to a reduction of annual emissions by 45%. Interestingly, also winter emissions (8–12 months after N fertilization) were decreased by DMPP. In this period, a complete degradation of DMPP was assumed. The reason for this effect remains unclear. Wheat yield and quality were unaffected by DMPP, whereas grain yield was increased with N fertilizer amount in the first year. Nevertheless, response curves of grain yield-related N2O emissions over all data showed lower optimal N fertilizer doses when DMPP was used. Application of DMPP at suboptimal N rates could help to achieve a better profitability with simultaneous reduction of the product scaled emission.


N2O emission Winter emission DMPP Nitrification inhibitor N fertilizer amount Winter wheat 



We thank all the helpers and technical assistances, especially Hinrich Bremer for the measuring of Nmin samples and Hans Bucher and Heidi Zimmermann for managing the field experiment. The authors would also like to thank Prof. Hans-Peter Piepho for helping us to improve the statistical analysis of the study.

Supplementary material

10705_2019_10000_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 2251 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science, Fertilization and Soil Matter Dynamics (340i)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Crop Science, Biostatistics (340c)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.EuroChem Agro GmbHMannheimGermany
  4. 4.International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria

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