Plant species influence onN2O and NOx gas emissions fromsoils

Loecke, T. and G.P. Robertson

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2003-09-12 )

Soils are major anthropogenic sources of nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas, and of nitric oxide (NOx), an important component of acid deposition and photochemical smog formation. Greater than 50% of all anthropogenic emissions of N2O are from agricultural soils. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control’s National Inventory Guidelines assume that N20 gas fluxes from soils are independent of crop species despite a lack of empirical data to support this assumption. The influence of individual plant species on nitric oxide gas fluxes is largely unknown. It is known, however, that plant species differentially influence the most proximal controls on these gas fluxes (soil O2, NH4+, and NO3- concentrations and carbon availability). Due to their global extent and well characterized biology crop species are good models for studying these effects. By examining soils planted to soybean, corn, and wheat cropped in rotation and continuous cultivation we hope to estimate the N2O and NOx gas fluxes as influenced by the current and previous crop species grown in that soil. Preliminary studies are underway to address these questions.

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