The impacts of N fertilizer management on nitrous oxide emissions in switchgrass

Ruan, L. and G.P. Robertson

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2012-03-15 to 2012-03-16 )

• Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), a native warmseason, perennial grass, has been identified as a promising cellulosic biofuel crop.

• Perennial cellulosic crops do not have high fertilizer requirements, but producers may apply more N fertilizer than minimum recommended levels especially if the price of biofuel crops yield is much higher than fertilizer costs.

• N input can directly increase soil N2O emissions, which offsets the effects of reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of biofuels.

• Currently, most studies use the linear IPCC (2006 emissions factor to estimate soil N2O emissions in assessing biofuels GHG balance, which is based on the assumption that 1% of the fertilizer N converts to N2O during cultivation.

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