Methane emissions responding to Azolla inoculation combined with midseason aeration and N fertilization in a double-rice cropping system

  • Ya-Dong Yang
  • He-Shui Xu
  • Deng-Yun Li
  • Jing-Na Liu
  • Jiang-Wen Nie
  • Zhao-Hai ZengEmail author
Research Article


Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas (GHG), and paddy fields are major sources of CH4 emissions. This pot experiment was conducted to investigate the integrated effects of Azolla inoculation combined with water management and N fertilization on CH4 emissions in a double-rice cropping system of Southern China. Results indicated that midseason aeration reduced total CH4 emissions by 46.9%, 38.6%, and 42.4%, followed by N fertilization with 32.5%, 17.0%, and 29.5% and Azolla inoculation with 32.5%, 17.0%, and 29.5%, on average, during the early, late, and annual rice growing seasons, respectively. The CH4 flux peaks and total CH4 emissions observed in the late rice growing season were significantly higher than those in the early rice growing season. Additionally, CH4 fluxes correlated negatively to soil redox potential (Eh) and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration. Azolla inoculation and N fertilization greatly increased the rice grain yields, whereas midseason aeration had distinct effects on grain yields in both rice seasons. The highest annual rice grain yields of approximately 110 g pot−1 were obtained in the Azolla inoculation and N fertilization treatments. In terms of yield-scaled CH4 emission, Azolla inoculation combined with midseason aeration and N fertilization generated the lowest yield-scaled CH4 emissions both in the early and in the late rice growing seasons, as well as during the annual rice cycle. In contrast, the highest yield-scaled CH4 emission was obtained in the treatment employed continuous flooding, without Azolla and no N application. Our results demonstrated that Azolla inoculation, midseason aeration, and N fertilization practices mitigated total CH4 emissions by 18.5–42.4% during the annual rice cycle. We recommend that the combination of Azolla inoculation, midseason aeration, and appropriate N fertilization can achieve lower CH4 emissions and yield-scaled CH4 emissions in the double-rice growing system.


CH4 emission Rice paddy Azolla Midseason aeration N fertilization 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0300205-01). We would like to thank Bin Wang, Jianling Li, and Weiwei Cai for greenhouse gases measurements and thank the staff of farming ecological office of Institute of Soil and Fertilizer, Hunan Province, for their support in the pot experiment. Special thanks go to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments in improving this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ya-Dong Yang
    • 1
  • He-Shui Xu
    • 2
  • Deng-Yun Li
    • 1
  • Jing-Na Liu
    • 1
  • Jiang-Wen Nie
    • 1
  • Zhao-Hai Zeng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Agronomy and BiotechnologyChina Agricultural University/Key Laboratory of Farming System, Ministry of Agriculture of ChinaBeijingChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Academy of Agricultural SciencesShanghaiChina

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