Effect of cover crops on greenhouse gas emissions in an irrigated field under integrated soil fertility management

Guardia Vázquez, Guillermo and Abalos Rodríguez, Diego and Garcia Marco, Sonia and Quemada Saenz-Badillos, Miguel and Alonso Ayuso, María and Cardena, Laura and Dixon, Elizabeth R. and Vallejo Garcia, Antonio (2016). Effect of cover crops on greenhouse gas emissions in an irrigated field under integrated soil fertility management. "Biogeosciences", v. 13 (n. 18); pp. 5245-5257. ISSN 1726-4170. https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-5245-2016.

Description

Title: Effect of cover crops on greenhouse gas emissions in an irrigated field under integrated soil fertility management
Author/s:
  • Guardia Vázquez, Guillermo
  • Abalos Rodríguez, Diego
  • Garcia Marco, Sonia
  • Quemada Saenz-Badillos, Miguel
  • Alonso Ayuso, María
  • Cardena, Laura
  • Dixon, Elizabeth R.
  • Vallejo Garcia, Antonio
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Biogeosciences
Date: September 2016
ISSN: 1726-4170
Volume: 13
Subjects:
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas (UPM)
Department: Química y Tecnología de Alimentos
Creative Commons Licenses: None

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Abstract

Agronomical and environmental benefits are associated with replacing winter fallow by cover crops (CC). Yet, the effect of this practice on nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions remains poorly understood. In this context, a field experiment was carried out under Mediterranean conditions to evaluate the effect of replacing the traditional winter fallow (F) by vetch (Vicia sativa L.; V) or barley (Hordeum vulgare L.; B) on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the intercrop and the maize (Zea mays L.) cropping period. The maize was fertilized following Integrated Soil Fertility management (ISFM) criteria. Maize nitrogen (N) uptake, soil mineral N concentrations, soil temperature and moisture, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and GHG fluxes were measured during the experiment. Our management (adjusted N synthetic rates due to ISFM) and pedo-climatic conditions resulted in low cumulative N2O emissions (0.57 to 0.75 kg N2O-N ha-1 yr-1), yield-scaled N2O emissions (3-6 g N2O-N kg aboveground N uptake-1) and N surplus (31 to 56 kg N ha-1) for all treatments. Although CCs increased N2O emissions during the intercrop period compared to F (1.6 and 2.6 times in B and V, respectively), the ISFM resulted in similar cumulative emissions for the CCs and F at the end of the maize cropping period. The higher C:N ratio of the B residue led to a greater proportion of N2O losses from the synthetic fertilizer in these plots, when compared to V. No significant differences were observed in CH4 and CO2 fluxes at the end of the experiment. This study shows that the use of both legume and non-legume CCs combined with ISFM could provide, in addition to the advantages reported in previous studies, an opportunity to maximize agronomic efficiency (lowering synthetic N requirements for the subsequent cash crop) without increasing cumulative or yield-scaled N2O losses.

Funding Projects

TypeCodeAcronymLeaderTitle
Madrid Regional GovernmentS2013/ABI-2717AGRISOSTAntonio Vallejo GarcíaSistemas agrarios sostenibles. Manejo de carbono, nitrógeno y agua para optimizar producción y calidad
Government of SpainAGL2012-37815-C05-01-AGRUnspecifiedUniversidad Politécnica de MadridEstrategias para reducir la emisión de gases de efecto invernadero en sistemas agrícolas

More information

Item ID: 43397
DC Identifier: http://oa.upm.es/43397/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:43397
DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-5245-2016
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-5245-2016
Deposited by: Guillermo Guardia
Deposited on: 27 Sep 2016 07:36
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2019 18:20
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